First Test, Galle (day two, close):
West Indies 580-9 v Sri Lanka 54-1
Gayle struck 34 fours and nine sixes in his 333 from 437 balls
West Indies opener Chris Gayle made the joint 12th highest Test score with a magnificent 333 on day two of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.
The Windies had begun the day on 362-2, with former skipper Gayle on 219.
He passed his previous best of 317, but fell to Ajantha Mendis after matching the 333 set by Graham Gooch in 1990.
The tourists declared on 580-9 and Sri Lanka lost Tillakaratne Dilshan for a second ball duck before reaching stumps 526 runs adrift at 54-1.
Gayle first made a triple century with 317 against South Africa at Antigua in 2005, and is only the fourth man to achieve the feat twice in Test history, after Sir Donald Bradman, Brian Lara and Virender Sehwag.
The all-time individual Test batting record is held by former West Indies great Lara - for the second time.
Lara hit 375 against England at the Antigua Recreation Ground in 1994, overtaking the previous record of 365 not out, held by Windies legend Garry Sobers since 1958.
Australia's Matthew Hayden flayed a weak Zimbabwe side for 380 in 2003, but six months later Lara reclaimed his record with an unbeaten 400 against England on the same ground as his 375.
Gayle's innings was the first triple-century by a West Indies player away from home, the highest by any player in Tests between the two teams, and the first triple hundred at Galle International Stadium.
It also helped to surpass the previous highest West Indies Test total against Sri Lanka, 477-7 declared in St Lucia in 2003.
The attacking left-hander hit eight sixes on Monday but only one on the final day, and indeed might have departed with the first ball of the morning.
He pushed forward to a flat delivery from spinner Mendis and was struck on the pad.
It was given not out and Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara used their final review, but third umpire Asad Raud concluded there was enough doubt and the original decision was correct.
There was another dramatic moment when Gayle was on 287.
He was surprised by a sharply rising ball from seamer Dammika Prasad and fended it to short extra-cover where Sangakkara took an easy catch.
However, non-striker Brendan Nash persuaded Gayle to refer the decision to third umpire Rauf, and the centurion was reprieved when replays showed the bowler had overstepped for a no-ball.
Gayle drove powerfully through long-off for a boundary to reach his triple century and knelt on the pitch holding his bat and helmet high in celebration.
A partnership of 167 was ended when spinner Mendis trapped Nash for 64, the first of six wickets to fall for 21 runs within nine overs.
That included Gayle, who was the sixth wicket to fall in the innings, beaten by a quicker one between bat and pad, with new captain Darren Sammy then dismissed first ball by a flighted delivery from Mendis that turned in to hit off-stump.
The Windies then made an immediate breakthrough with the key wicket of Dilshan, as 22-year-old Jamaican paceman Andre Russell struck with his second ball in Test cricket.
Sri Lanka's free-scoring opener was early on his shot and it looped to mid-on where Shane Shillingford took an excellent catch diving forward, leaving Sangakkara and his team with much work to do.