Chester-le-Street, Jul 1 : Nicholas Pooran's century went in vain as Sri Lanka defeated West Indies by 23 runs in the World Cup match at the Riverside Ground here on Monday.While chasing a mammoth total of 339 for win, Caribbean start wasn't impressive. Having already out of the tournament, the openers expected to contribute as there were no pressure on them, but they failed to do so.
Sunil Ambris (5) was the first from their side to walk towards the pavilion on Lasith Malina ball in 2.2 over. Before Caribbean could have recovered from the shock of losing Ambris, they got another jolt when Shai Hope was bowled by Malinga in 5th over.Nothing going in Caribbean's favour, but somehow there was a ray of hope as Chris Gayle was on the crease and could have turned saviour for his team. Gayle was going fine with his bat and kept the scoreboard running but this wasn't continued for long as in 15.2 over, he was caught by Jeffrey Vandersay on Kasun Rajitha's ball. Gayle who scored 35 runs off 48 balls with the help of 1 four and 2 sixes left West Indies on 71/3.
However, Nicholas Pooran with Jason Holder (26) added 61 runs for the fifth wicket giving a relief to West Indies fans, but this partnership journey came to an end, when Vandersay dismissed Holder in 28.2 overs.Though the much needed partnership journey ended, but with Pooran on the crease, fans expected a come back in the match and to some extent Pooran equalled the runs with balls single-handedly. After Carlos Brathwaite (8) was run out by Isru Udana, Pooran got the most able support from Fabian Allen, who made sure that West Indies doesn't go much behind in the game again from there.Fabian with Pooran stitched 83 runs for the seventh wicket. Fabian scored 51 runs off 31 balls (7 fours, 1 six) before he was run out by Rajitha in 44.1 overs. Caribbean had almost reached their but all went in vain as Fabian left his team on a score of 282/7.
On the other hand, Pooran played exceptionally well and scored 118 runs off 102 balls decorated with 11 fours and 4 sixes before falling to Anglo Mathews in 47.1 overs. With his dismissal, West Indies despite being closer to the target failed to clinch victory and loss to Sri Lanka by 23 runs.Others batsmen, Sheldon Cottrell (7*), Oshane Thomas (1) and Shannon Gabriel (3*) scored respectively.For Sri Lanka, Lasith Malinga took three wickets, while Kasun Rajitha, Jeffery Vandersay and Angelo Mathews took one wicket each.
Earlier, with the help of Avishka Fernando who scored his maiden hundred helped Sri Lanka to post a mammoth total of 338/6 in 50 overs against West Indies. He smashed 104 runs off 103 balls with the help of nine fours and two sixes.This was Sri Lanka's highest total in the ongoing World Cup 2019.After being invited to bat by the West Indies, Sri Lanka got off to a terrific start as openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera stitched a 93-run partnership for the first wicket. Kusal Perera hit 64 runs off 51 balls, including eight boundaries.Kusal Mendis (39), Dimuth Karunaratne (32) and Lahiru Thirimanne (45*) also added to Sri Lanka's total. (UNI)