SL beat West Indies by 23 runs

SL beat West Indies by 23 runs
Sri Lanka players celebrate after dismissing West Indies’ batsman Chris Gayle during their match on Monday. (AP)
Chester-le-Street, Jul 1 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 7/1/2019 11:44:34 AM IST

Nicholas Pooran’s 118 went in vain as Sri Lanka defeated West Indies by 23 runs in a thriller at Riverside Ground on Sunday.

Nicholas Pooran proved to be the biggest hurdle to Sri Lanka’s victory as he brought down the run-chase in sight with his century but Sri Lanka found their unlikely hero in Angelo Mathews to produce a moment of magic and dimiss a dangerous looking Nicholas Pooran for 118.

For most part of the game, a win for West Indies looked in sight as Nicholas Pooran and Fabian Allen kept the run-chase alive with their 83-stand but another mix-up at the middle forced Allen to leave the ground for 51. Lasith Malinga got Sri Lanka their first breakthrough by removing West Indies opener Sunil Ambris (5). Malinga struck again to get rid of Shai Hope (5) to leave West Indies reeling at 22.2 in 4.6 overs.

West Indies had their hopes rested on their big-hitter Chris Gayle after losing two quick wickets. Gayle was dropped in the 7th over of the second innings while Kusal Mendis dropped a sitter to give a lifeline to Shirmon Hetmyer.

However, the two batsmen could not capitalize on their gifted chances. Kasun Rajitha picked Chirs Gayle for 35 whereas, Hetmyer scored 37 balls before getting run out by a direct hit from Dhananjaya de Silva.

Skipper Jason Holder had to depart when he mistimed his lofted shot to hand the balls to Jeevan Mendis at the mid-on while Carlos Braithwate was run out for 8.

Earlier, Avishka Fernando’s maiden hundred in a solid batting display powered Sri Lanka to an imposing 338. Sri Lanka’s top order fired in unison with Fernando hitting a 103-ball 104. 

Opener Kusal Perera sent the ball eight times across the fence on the way to a 51-ball 64.

Fernando played the role of sheet anchor, stitching 85 runs with Kushal Mendis and then sharing 58 and 67 with Angelo Mathews (26) and Lahiru Thirimanne (45 off 33), respectively.

Sri Lanka played with freedom as openers Karunaratne and Kusal Perera amassed 91 runs for no loss in 15 overs.

After skipper Jason Holder removed Dimuth Karunaratne (32), Kushal Perera too was back after getting run out.

Kushal Mendis and Fernando then took Sri Lanka close to 200 before a remarkable caught-and-bowl effort by left-arm spinner Fabian Allen ending the former’s stay.

Mathews came up with an enterprising 20-ball 26 before a perfect yorker by Holder sent him back in the 40th over. Fernando and Thirimanne then joined hands to help Sri Lanka cross the 300-mark.

Fernando completed his hundred in the 48th over but soon holed out to Allen off Cottrell’s bowling.

Brief scores

Sri Lanka: 338/6 (Avishka Fernando 104, Kusal Perera 64; Holder 2/59) 

West Indies: 315/9 (Nicholas Pooran 118, Fabian Allen 51; Lasith Malinga 3/55)

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