Sri Lanka wrap up ODI series with record win over Windies



Rex Clementine at Suriyawewa

Sri Lanka put up a spirited performance to clinch the three match ODI series against the West Indies with a game to spare as international cricket returned to Hambantota yesterday after a break of three years. The 161 run win over the former World Champions is Sri Lanka’s biggest win over the Windies with the previous best being the 113 run win in Guyana during the 2007 World Cup.

Hundreds by Moratuwa boys Kusal Mendis (119) and  Avishka Fernando (127)  helped the hosts post a commanding 345 for eight and then they bowled out West Indies for 184 inside 40 overs as wrist spinners Wanindu Hasaranga and Lakshan Sandakan shared six wickets between them. 

Despite their impressive finish, Sri Lanka had a disastrous start as Sheldon Cottrell dismissed captain Dimuth Karunaratne (1) and  Kusal Perera (0) in successive deliveries  and followed it up with his  trademark salute.

There were two more salutes as Cottrell finished with four wickets and the Jamaican soldier was denied  a fifth when Fabian Allen spilled a chance off Isuru Udana.

Mendis and  Fernando, representatives  of rival schools in Moratuwa – Prince  of Wales and  St. Sebastian’s,  meanwhile, added a record 239 runs. That’s the third highest stand for Sri Lanka  in ODI cricket for any wicket and the highest for the third wicket improving on the 226 run partnerships between Marvan Atapattu and Mahela Jayawardene against India in 2000 in Sharjah.

West Indies started off positively with openers Shai Hope (51) and Sunil Ambris (17) adding 64 runs for the first wicket. The stand was broken when there was a mix up between the batsmen attempting a run and an acrobatic Angelo Mathews effected the run out.

Mathews sent down five overs for 20 runs and claimed the wicket of top scorer Hope as well.

Leg-spin proved to be the undoing of West  Indies as Hasaranga and Sandakan picked up three wickets each.  Nuwan Pradeep came back for a second spell and claimed two wickets.

With West Indies eight wickets down, play was interrupted as two light towers stopped functioning due to generator failure. The interruption lasted for 16 minutes and the West Indies innings lasted only four more deliveries after resumption.

The teams will now travel to Kandy where the Pallekele International Stadium will host the final ODI, a dead rubber. The hill capital will also host the two match T-20 series with R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo under repair.



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