Basseterre (St Kitts), Jan 22 (IANS) Sri Lanka opener Sadisha Rajapaksa scored a patient 76 and skipper Dunith Wellalage grabbed three wickets as they scored a dramatic three-wicket win over hosts West Indies to seal their qualification for the Super League stage from Group D at the Conaree Sports Club here on Saturday (IST).
Wellalage and Matheesha Pathirana both took three wickets each as Sri Lanka restricted the hosts to 250 before Rajapaksa, Anjala Bandara (40) and Ranuda Somarathna’s unbeaten 28 guided Sri Lanka to a win, which was achieved in the 49th over.
The hosts went into the game knowing they needed a big win to stand a chance to qualify for the Super League quarterfinals, with Sri Lanka and Australia ahead of them in Group D.
Openers Shaqkere Parris and Matthew Nandu ensured they made a firm start, reaching the end of the fifth over for 20 without loss before Treveen Mathew removed the latter for seven. Parris was then bowled by Wellalage for 16 before Teddy Bishop and Kevin Wickham combined for a fruitful partnership, taking the West Indies to 102 for two after 26 overs.
Bishop was eventually removed on 45 by Wellalage, caught by Mathew, but Jordan Johnson picked up where his teammate left off as he raced to 26 from 30 balls. Wickham reached his half-century before falling for 56 to Matheesha Pathirana in the 38th over, although Johnson and Rivaldo Clarke kept West Indies ticking along nicely.
Two wickets in three balls in the 45th over jolted the hosts, though, with Wellalage accounting for Johnson as he fell three runs short of his fifty before Giovonte Depeiza was run out moments later by Anjala Bandara without scoring.
A cameo from McKenny Clarke of 21 from 13 balls saw West Indies finish all out for 250, with Wellalage (3/39) and Pathirana (3/67) both taking three wickets.
In response, Sri Lanka lost opener Chamindu Wickramasinghe in the first opener as Nathan Edward enticed him into a flick outside off stump that went straight to Rivaldo Clarke. Sadisha Rajapaksa and Shevon Daniel got their side back on track as they reached the end of the 11th over on 56/1 before Daniel was removed by McKenny Clarke for 34.
Rajapaksa powered on regardless and despite losing Sakuna Liyanage (9), he reached his fifty in the 25th over with support from new partner Anjala Bandara at the crease. Bandara contributed 40 from 52 balls before his wicket was taken by Isai Thorne, with Rajapaksa (76) also falling the same bowler in the 40th over as Sri Lanka reached 200 for five.
With 51 still needed off 60 balls for victory, Shiva Sankar removed Wellalage (15) to set up a tense finale as Ranuda Somarathna and Raveen de Silva came together in the middle. Mckenny Clarke bowled De Silva (13) but a 28 from 27 balls from Somarathna saw Sri Lanka home as they secured a three-wicket victory with 10 balls to spare.
Brief scores: West Indies 250/9 in 50 overs (Teddy Bishop 45, Kevin Wickham 56, Jordan Johnson 47, Rivaldo Clarke 45; Dunith Wellalage 3/39, Matheesha Pathirana 2/67) lost to Sri Lanka 251/7 in 48.2 overs (Sadisha Rajapaksa 76, Anjala Bandara 40; McKenny Clarke 2/38).