Chester-le-Street , Jul 1 : A superb knock by Avishka Fernando 104 off 103 powered Sri Lanka to a total of 338/6 in 50 overs against West Indies in a World Cup match here at Riverside Ground on Monday.
After being invited to bat by West Indies captain Jason Holder, openers Kusal Perera and Dimuth Karunaratnea gave Sri Lanka a marvelous start.The opening duo of Perera-Karunaratne played freely and scored 49/0 in the first power play. First 10 overs, Sri Lanka openers continued their domination on West Indies bowlers as Kusal Perera completed his half century in just 38 balls.
Moving ahead, in the 16th over, Jason Holder bowled a length ball to got rid of Karunaratne (32 off 48) to break the 93-run stand for the first wicket.After Karunaratne's dismissal, Kusal Perera who looked solid after his fifty got run out while taking a dangerous run leaving Sri Lanka on 104/2 after 18.1 overs. Perera scored 64 runs off 51 balls. Once openers got out in quick succession, Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis took the responsibility on their shoulders and batted sensibly.
During the middle overs, Fernando kept on hitting boundaries from one end and maintained the pace of the innings. He also got support from Mendis from the other side.However soon, Fabian Allen took a brilliant catch off his own bowling to send Kusal Mendis (39off 41) back in pavilion at the score of 189/3 after 31.5 overs. Fernando and Mendis stitched a crucial partnership of 85 runs for the third wicket.In the meantime, Avishka Fernando got his first World Cup fifty in 57 balls. After 38 overs, Sri Lanka were 235/3 and set for a strong finish but Holder took his second wicket to dismiss Mathews who scored 20 off 26.
Mathews and Fernando had partnership of 58 run for the 4th wicket. In the last few overs, Avishka Fernando kept batting aggressively and scored his maiden ODI hundred. Fernando got out immediately after his century as Cottrell picked his first wicket of the match. Thirimanne and Fernando stiched a partnership of 67 runs for the fifth wicket.
In the end, Lahiru Thirimanne (45 off 33 not out) played some lusty shots to help Srilanka post a total of 338/6 in 50 overs. Dhananjaya de Silva too remained not out on 6 runs. This is Sri Lanka's highest total in this World Cup.For West Indies, Sheldon Cottrell 1/69, Jason Holder 2/59, Fabian Allen 1/44 and Oshane Thomas 1/58 were the wicket takers. UNI