Sri Lanka’s batting once again hit top gear of 307 runs on half centuries by Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva in the third and final Day Night ODI when the West Indies did drama hype the contest in an applaudable down to the wire batting effort falling short by just 6 runs on day when veteran Angelo Mathews reined in with the ball with 4 for 59 at the Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Chasing Sri Lanka’s 307 off 50 overs, the West Indies ended on 301 for 9 in 50 overs failing in the final equation to get 8 off 2 balls. If a 48 ball 55 strong Mendis knock spiced with 6 scorching boundaries and a six and Dhananjaya de Silva with a workmanlike 47-ball 51 laced with 5 boundaries were the pillars in a Lankan innings that fire powered through a lackluster erratic West Indian bowling attack, full credit to their opening duo of Shai Hope and Sunil Ambris who lit up the night sky in the sparkle of 72 (88 balls 6×4), and 60 off 60 (6×4, 1×6) respectively taking the visitors to the brink of victory edged by a 50-ball 49 by skipper Kieran Pollard (6×4, 1×6) and 15-ball 37 blast by Fabian Allen. The Hope-Ambris partnership was worth 111 off18.3 overs.
Sri Lanka made the most of winning the toss and taking first lease on forceful knocks by openers Avishka Fernando 29 off 34 (5×4) and Dimuth Karunaratne 44 off 54 (5×4) in a 60-run launch which was further buttressed in an 89-run third wicket alliance by Kusal Janith Perera who struck 44 off 55 (4×4) and Mendis off 73 balls before the Mathews-Dhananjaya fifth wicket yielded 29 When Mathews fell for 12 that followed the 64-run partnership by Dhananjaya and Thisara Perera who fired 38 off 31 with 2 boundaries in a continuation of his forceful return to the fold with the bat. Adding to the fireworks was Wanindu Hasaranga hammering 16 off 9 (1×4, 1×6).
Sri Lanka 307 All out 50 Overs Run rate: 6.14 (B.K.G. Mendis 55, D.M. de Silva 51, N.L.T.C. Perera 38, W.I.A. Fernando 29, F.D.M. Karunaratne 44, P.W.H. de Silva 16, A.D. Mathews 12, A.S. Joseph 4/65, J.O. Holder 2/68)
West Indies 301/9 50 Overs Run rate: 6.02
(S.D. Hope 72, S.W. Ambris 60, S.D. N. Pooran 50, K.A. Pollard 49, F.A. Allen 37, A.D. Mathews 4/59)
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-