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    West Indies signs off with consolation victory

    November 12, 2015

    West Indies finally had something to smile about at the end of what has been a difficult outing of Sri Lanka, scoring its first victory in the final game of the tour to draw the two-match Twenty20 International series 1-1 at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Wednesday (November 11).

    Having lost the Test series 0-2 and the One-Day International series 0-3, West Indies was in genuine danger of leaving Sri Lanka without a win on tour when it finally played the kind of limited-overs cricket it is known for on its way to a 23-run win in the second and final T20I.

    Building on Johnson Charles and Andre Fletcher’s 62-run stand for the first wicket, West Indies posted 162 for 6 after Darren Sammy opted to bat first, and then choked Sri Lanka through canny bowling and exceptional catching to bowl it out for 139. It was Sri Lanka’s ninth loss in 10 matches at the venue, the result a repeat of the ICC World Twenty20 2012 final between the sides at the same ground.

    For Sri Lanka, Tillakaratne Dilshan top-scored with a breezy 52, and Shehan Jayasuriya made 30 before Ravi Rampaul (3-20) and Bravo wrecked their middle and lower order.

    West Indies got off to a steady start before Charles (34 off 25) and Fletcher exploded in the space of two overs to raise visions of a massive total. Lasith Malinga, the captain, and Nuwan Kulasekara had done well up front to concede just 17 in the first four overs. It was as if Charles was waiting for the arrival of spin, and when Sachithra Senanayake, the offspinner, was brought on in the fifth over, he lay into him with three sixes and a four off the last delivery of an over that produced 22 runs.

    The introduction of Milinda Siriwardana changed the innings on its head. In his first over, the left-arm spinner trapped Fletcher plumb in front with a faster, flatter delivery. In the same over, Marlon Samuels was run out as Jayasuriya made amends for his earlier lapse, firing in a direct hit from fine-leg that caught the batsman short while returning for a second leg-bye. And when Siriwardana trapped Charles in front in much the same manner in which he got rid of Fletcher, West Indies had lost 3 for 10 in 11 deliveries to slump to 75 for 3 at the end of nine overs.
    Boundaries flew thick and fast with Denesh Ramdin (34 off 22), brought back into the playing XI, the aggressor, but between fours and sixes, there were plenty of deliveries that yielded precious little.

    Consequently, Sri Lanka was able to keep things under reasonable check, even though there was another lapse in the field when Ramdin was put down by Chameera running to his right at deep midwicket as he top-edged a flick off a Kulasekara full toss.

    Last modified on Thursday, 12 November 2015 08:58

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