Hasaranga holds nerve to take Sri Lanka home

West Indies tour of Sri Lanka 2020

Wanindu Hasaranga

Sri Lanka pulled off the highest successful chase at SSC Grounds to beat West Indies by one one-wicket in the first ODI match, which went down to the wire on Saturday.

Wanindu Hasaranga played a gem of an innings under pressure – 42* off 39 balls; putting Sri Lanka in the lead 1-0 in the three-match series.

The left-right combination worked well, as both openers punished anything loose and took calculated risks at necessary moments. Karunaratne pulled with confidence and as always put away anything on the pads. Fernando’s short-armed pulls saw the field pushed back, allowing the pair to work the singles.

Photos: West Indies tour of Sri Lanka 2020 | 1st ODI

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The left-right combination worked well, as both openers punished anything loose and took calculated risks at necessary moments. Karunaratne pulled with confidence and as always put away anything on the pads. Fernando’s short-armed pulls saw the field pushed back, allowing the pair to work the singles.

In the 18th over, Karunaratne was given out caught behind but he was immediately reviewed. The replays confirmed that there was no nick. In the very next ball, there was no hesitation as Karunaratne edged behind. Fernando was caught down the leg-side just after he reached his fifty, by a nothing delivery.

Kusal Mendis, at number four, looked in good touch before he slog-swept a Hayden Walsh full-toss straight to mid-on. Angelo Mathews nicked behind chasing a wide ball.

With Kusal Perera and Dhananjaya De Silva trying to steady the chase, a couple of soft-dismissals along with some sharp catching dented the Lankan chase.

De Silva first holed out at deep long-off, while Perera was grabbed well by Darren Bravo at deep square leg as the hosts were six down for 215.

Thisara Perera was joined by Wanindu Hasaranga, with 75 runs needed off 74 balls. Perera made some lusty blows during his 22-ball 32, before he perished while attempting a pull off Joseph, who was the pick of the Windies bowlers. However, Wanindu played his best knock to date in Sri Lankan colours to win the game.

Earlier, after electing to bowl first, Sri Lanka almost got a breakthrough in the second ball when Hope was given out an LBW off Nuwan Pradeep, but the replays suggested otherwise. 

Shai Hope and Darren Bravo took the Windies score to 31 at the end of the first powerplay. They kept the scoreboard ticking by also scoring the odd boundary during their 77-run stand for the second wicket. An unfortunate run-out ended Bravo’s stay, as Sri Lanka managed to sneak in a crucial wicket.

However, Roston Chase and Hope consolidated through the middle overs, adding 85 runs for the third wicket. Despite fielding two wrist-spinners with the hope of snapping up some wickets from 11-40 overs, Sandakan and Hasaranga failed to grab a single wicket. Sandakan attained an economy rate of six-runs per over, while Hasaranga bowled well to complete his full quota and gave away 47 runs.

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After being 172 for 2, Sri Lanka managed to claw their way back, taking three wickets between the 36th and 42nd over as the more renowned aggressors in the Windies line-up, Kieron Pollard and Nicholas Pooran, perished easily.

After taking 78 balls to reach his half-century, Shai Hope accelerated a bit and notched up his ninth ODI hundred. However, Hope and Holder were dismissed inside ten deliveries as Sri Lanka had an opportunity to restrict the Windies to somewhere around 260-270. However, a late flourish by Keemo Paul (32* off 17) and Hayden Walsh (20* off 8) enabled the visitors to set a target of 290 for the hosts. They added 49 runs off the last 20 deliveries of the innings.

The second ODI will be played on Wednesday, 26th February in Hambanthota.

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