Abu Dhabi, Nov 5 (IANS) Attacking fifties by Charith Asalanka (68 off 41) and Pathum Nissanka (51 off 41) followed by a clinical bowling by Wanindu Hasaranga (2/19) led Sri Lanka to 20 run win over West Indies in a super 12 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, here on Thursday.
With this loss, West Indies have been knocked out of the tournament. However, they still have a game to play against qualification hopefuls Australia in what could be the final match of the careers of a number of the West Indian stars.
Chasing a big total, West Indies were off to a terrible start as Chris Gayle got out in the second over for 1 off 5.
Binura Fernando picked up a second wicket just four balls later when the dangerous Evin Lewis chopped on as he looked for a third boundary of the over. Sri Lanka then struck another blow in the sixth over when Roston Chase was brilliantly caught by Bhanuka Rajapaksa to leave West Indies three down inside the powerplay.
Pooran, who was promoted to number three, looked fluent in his 46 off 34, and alongside Shimron Hetmyer gave West Indies a glimmer of hope. But Pooran’s dismissal in the 12th over ultimately ended the chance of the chase, with Andre Russell, Pollard and Jason Holder all falling cheaply.
And even Hetmyer’s explosive innings ((81 not out off 54) wasn’t enough as West Indies finished on 169/8, losing by 20 runs. Wanindu Hasaranga (2/19), Binura Fernando (2/24) were the main wicket-takers for Sri Lanka.
Earlier, batting first, openers Kusal Perera and Pathum Nissanka got Sri Lanka to a terrific start. Perera in particular, looked in sparkling form, hitting three boundaries as he raced to 29 off 20 before being dismissed by a spectacular caught-and-bowled by Andre Russell.
The fall of Perera brought Charith Asalanka to the crease and the 24-year-old showed attacking intent right from the off. He took the attack to West Indies and put on a partnership of 40* with Nissanka as the score raced along to 82/1 at the midway point of the innings.
From there, both Asalanka and Nissanka continued to hit periodical fours and helped Sri Lanka cross the 100-run mark in the 12th over of the innings. West Indies were still searching for a wicket when Nissanka brought up his fifty with a fine boundary.
The experienced DJ Bravo finally gave Windies a much-needed breakthrough in the 16th over of the innings as he dismissed Nissanka (51) off a catch by Hetmyer at cow corner. Asalanka and Nissanka had a 91-run stand for the wicket.
After Nissanka’s wicket, Shanaka came to bat and joined Asalanka in the middle. The wicket didn’t affect Asalanka’s batting and he kept hitting boundaries before falling in the penultimate over for 68. Skipper Dasun Shanaka also played a sparkling late cameo, smashing 22 off just 13 balls to help his side post 189/3 in 20 overs.
Sri Lanka – 189-3 in 20 overs (Charith Asalanka 68, Pathum Nissanka 51; Russell 2/33) against West Indies 169-8 in 20 overs (Shimron Hetmyer 81, Nicholas Pooran 46; Wanindu Hasaranga (2/19)