Avishka Fernando's outstanding hundred and Malinga's beautiful bowling display guided Sri Lanka to defeat West Indies in the ongoing ICC Men's Cricket World Cup at the Riverside Ground on Monday. West Indies middle order batsman Nicholas Pooran's century went in vain as the Caribbean team crush to a 23-run defeat in an important game. Let us have a look at the highlights of the 39th World Cup encounter between Sri Lanka & West Indies.
West Indies skipper Jason Holder won the toss and asked Sri Lanka to set a target.
The Caribbean cricket team made 1 change to their playing XI, Shannon Gabriel was replaced by Kemar Roach.
On the other side, Sri Lanka made 3 changes, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeffrey Vandersay and Kasun Rajitha have included while Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera and Jeevan Mendis have ousted from the playing XI.
Sri Lanka Innings
Sri Lanka openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera gave a flying start to the team as both players established a 93-run stand partnership for the opening wicket. Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne posted 32 runs in 48 balls with 4 fours before being out in Jason Holder's bowling in the 16th over.
Lanka openers scored 6.07 run rate per over in the first 15 overs. After reducing the first wicket, another opener Kusal Perera out for 64 runs in 51 balls with 8 beautiful boundaries.
The No 3 slot player Avishka Fernando played beautifully as he struck an amazing hundred to set a huge target for the opposition. Fernando made 104 runs in 103 balls with 9 hits to the rope and 2 hits above the rope.
Kusal Mendis scored 39 runs in 41 balls with 4 hits to the fence. Angelo Mathews (26) and Lahiru Thrimanne (45) played good and made some useful contribution to the team.
Sri Lanka managed to score 338 runs with the loss of 6 wickets in their quota of 50 overs. For West Indies, Jason Holder scalped 2 wickets while Cottrell, Thomas and Allen chipped a wicket each.
West Indies Innings
Windies openers started the chase on a bad note as they lost the first wicket for 12 runs. Sunil Ambris got out for 5 runs. Veteran Chris Gayle continued his poor performance in the World Cup as he was out for 35 runs.
West Indies top order batsman Shai Hope was clean bowled by Lasith Malinga for 5 runs. Shimron Hetmyer scored 28 runs in 38 balls as all the top order batsmen failed to rotate the strike.
The Caribbean top scorer was Nicholas Pooran (118) as he struck with a beautiful century with 11 hits to the fence and 4 hits to the crowd before being out in Mathews' bowling.
Fabian Alleen scored 51 runs in 32 balls with 7 beautiful boundaries and 1 hit to the rope as he was run out in the 45th over. Skipper Jason Holder made 26 runs in 26 balls with 4 beautiful boundaries. Carlos Brathwaite made 8 runs as he was got out for a very low score.
Finally, West Indies managed to score 315 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in their quota of 50 overs. For Lanka, Malinga bagged 3 wickets while Rajitha, Vandersay and Mathews chipped a wicket each.
Sri Lanka: 338-6 (Kusal Perera 64, Avishka Fernando 104, Lahiru Thirimanne 45; Holder 2/59).
West Indies: 315-9 (Nicholas Pooran 118, Fabian Allen 51; Malinga 3/55).
Player-of-the-Match: Avishka Fernando.
In the next World Cup game, India will lock horns with Bangladesh at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham on July 2.
(Video Courtesy: YouTube/ICC)