SL cruise to nine wicket drubbing of Windies
Skipper Mahela Jayawardene led from the front with a classy 65 not out, as Sri Lanka cruised to a clinical, nine-wicket win over the West Indies in their Super Eight, Group One clash at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
Full Scorecard: Sri Lanka v West Indies
Jayawardene added a breezy 108 for the second wicket with Kumar Sangakarra (39 not out) to reach 130 for one from 15.2 overs, after the hosts had tied down the West Indies expertly to just 129 for five in their innings.
The Windies had won the toss and elected to bat first, but Johnson Charles and Chris Gayle - who were in red-hot form in their previous clash against England - were throttled by the host nation’s assortment of bowling options.
The West Indies could only muster 14 runs in the first four overs, as Nuwan Kulasekara in particular bowled with great accuracy. The dangerous Charles was then bamboozled by Ajantha Mendis, who produced a rare maiden in the fifth over, capping it by having the right-hander stumped for 12.
Gayle was having little joy on the other end, as he gave a looping edge to keeper Kumar Sangakarra off the very next ball by the excellent Kulasekara, leaving the Windies struggling at 16 for two.
Dwayne Bravo (40 off 34 balls) and Marlon Samuels (50 off 35 balls) then added 65 for the third wicket, with the latter.
Bravo was held at long-on as he tried to cart Jeevan Mendis over the ropes, as the Windies continued to lose regular victims. Danger man Kieron Pollard lasted all of six balls, before he became Ajantha Mendis’100th scalp in T20 cricket, yorked out for just one.
All the while Samuels stuck around at the other end, before exploding into life in the 18th over, ruining Kulasekara’s fine figures by smashing him for two fours and a six off the seamer’s final over, to add to the towering six clubbed by Andre Russell.
Samuels was last man out, quite brilliantly snaffled by Tillekeratne Dilshan off the bowling of Angelo Mathews, running around from long-on, as the West Indies trudged to just 129 for five.
In reply, Sri Lanka were off to a flying start, with Dilshan drilling three boundaries in a row off Fidel Edwards, before he was caught behind off Ravi Rampaul for 13.
But that brought together Sri Lanka’s all-star pair, and Jayawardene started slowly, before he accelerated at the end of the innings. The captain clubbed ten fours and a massive six off counterpart Darren Sammy.
At the other end, Sangakarra passed 1000 T20 international runs, as they both took advantage of a low-key performance by the Windies attack.
The Sri Lankans’ dominance was plain to see in Rampaul’s 15th over, as both batsmen creamed a pair of boundaries to spark wild celebrations in the stands. Jayawardene dabbed Rampaul cheekily over third man, before lofting him over long-off for four off the final ball of that over.
The winning runs personified the Windies woes, as an overthrow saw Sri Lanka romp to their most comfortable win ever in terms of balls to spare (28).
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SRI LANKA: DPMD Jayawardene (capt), TM Dilshan, KC Sangakkara (wk), AD Mathews, BMAJ Mendis, HDRL Thirimanne, NLTC Perera, KMDN Kulasekara, SL Malinga, HMRKB Herath, BAW Mendis
WEST INDIES: CH Gayle, J Charles, MN Samuels, DJ Bravo, KA Pollard, D Ramdin (wk), AD Russell, DJG Sammy (capt), SP Narine, R Rampaul, FH Edwards