The hosts Sri Lanka have secured the three-match ODI series against the visitors West Indies after winning the second successive game of this series at Hambantota on Wednesday (26th February).
It was the second match of this series where the hosts were sent to bat first, and they managed to score the big total of 345/8 (50 overs) despite a poor start. The visitors massively failed in the second innings, and they were bundled out for just 184 runs (39.1 overs) as Sri Lanka won by 161 runs.
West Indies innings: Solid opening partnership; but no further control
West Indies openers provided a good start with the 64 runs partnership between Shai Hope and Sunil Ambris. But once that partnership was broken through a run-out (Sunil Ambris 17), the visitors lost their next wickets at regular intervals. Apart from Hope’s 51 runs off 65 balls (5 fours), there was no other solid batting performance in that innings.
Nicholas Pooran (31), Roston Chase (20) and Keemo Paul (21) also managed to reach the 20-run marks but failed to stretch their batting for longer.
Among the Sri Lankan bowlers, the leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga (3/30) and the left-arm chinaman Lakshan Sandakan (3/57) both took three wickets each. Also, the right-arm pacer Nuwan Pradeep (2/37) picked up two wickets, and the right-arm medium pacer Angelo Mathews (1/20) scalped one wicket.
Sri Lankan innings: Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis scored brilliant centuries after the shaky start
Sri Lankan opener & captain Dimuth Karunaratne (1) and wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera (0) fell early as the hosts were battling on 9/2. However, another opener Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis handled that tough situation very well and built up a strong and decisive partnership for the third wicket.
Fernando-Mendis set up the 239 runs partnership for the third wicket. Both those batsmen hit centuries as both scored their second respective centuries and registered their respective best ODI knocks. While Fernando scored 127 runs off 123 balls (10 fours), Mendis played the knock of run-a-ball 119 (12 fours).
Later, Thisara Perera scored 36 off 25 balls (4 fours). Dhananjaya de Silva (12 off 5 balls), Wanindu Hasaranga (17 off 10 balls) and Isuru Udana (17 not out off 9 balls) also played some firing cameos at the end of that innings.
Among the West Indies bowlers, Sheldon Cottrell (4/67) took four wickets, and Alzarri Joseph (3/57) scalped three wickets.
Sri Lanka also won the first game of this series but in a thrilling way by one wicket. Ahead of the third and final ODI of this series, the hosts are leading it by 2-0.
Some crucial stats of this match
i) Sri Lankan batsmen Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis provided the 239 runs partnership for the third wicket. It was Sri Lanka’s highest third-wicket ODI partnership against any team and Sri Lanka’s third-highest ODI partnership for any wicket against any team.
ii) Sri Lanka’s 345/8 (50 overs) is the highest total in ODI history without an over-boundary. The previous record was 333/6 (50 overs) by England against Australia at Sydney on 2nd February 2011.
iii) Sri Lanka won this match by 161 runs. It was their largest ODI victory (by runs) against West Indies. Their previous record was winning by 113 runs at Providence on 1st April 2007.