Darren Bravo hit 80 runs as West Indies were 165 for five when bad light ended the third day of their second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo yesterday.
The tourists attempted to post a respectable reply to Sri Lanka's 387 for nine declared, but they lost openers Adrian Barath and Chris Gayle with just 51 on the board.
Bravo, however, steadied the ship, even after Shivnarine Chanderpaul also departed.
The West Indies coach Ottis Gibson said Darren Bravo's inexperience showed in his dismissal.
"Darren played fantastically well for us and then a mistake in the end cost his wicket," Gibson said. "He is only a young man in terms of international cricket and this is only his second game, he's got a lot to learn."
Earlier, Kemar Roach claimed a five-for to mop up the Sri Lanka tail after the captain Kumar Sangakkara could only add 15 to his overnight 135.
Roach first took the wicket of Kulasekara for 17 before also accounting for Mendis to finish with figures of five for 100.