On Saturday (22nd February), the hosts Sri Lanka snatched a thrilling victory against the visitors West Indies in the series opener of the three-match ODI series at Colombo (SSC).
After winning the toss, Sri Lanka decided to field first. While the visitors scored 289/7 (50 overs), the second innings was full of a thriller with ups & downs, and the hosts finally chased down the target in 49.1 overs after losing nine wickets.
Sri Lankan innings: Openers scored half-centuries, Wanindu Hasaranga made heroically finish
Sri Lankan openers Avishka Fernando and captain Dimuth Karunaratne provided a solid start with the century partnership. They set up the 111 runs partnership for the first wicket while both the openers scored half-centuries in that innings. While Fernando scored 50 runs, Karunaratne played the knock of 52 runs.
But after openers fell in quick succession, the hosts were losing their wickets at the regular intervals. However, the no.3 batsman Kusal Perera was trying hard and scored 42 runs before losing his wicket in the 38th over.
Struggling on 215/6, Thisara Perera and Wanindu Hasaranga played the crucial knocks that helped the hosts to fight back. Though Thisara was dismissed on 32 runs off 22 balls, Hasaranga continued his batting till the end and guided to the series-leading victory as he remained not out on 42 runs off 39 balls.
Among the Caribbean bowlers, Alzarri Joseph (3/42) took three wickets while Keemo Paul (2/48) and Hayden Walsh (2/38) picked up two wickets each.
West Indies innings: Shai Hope scored a century in the first innings
Earlier, West Indies built up their innings thanks to the superb century from the Caribbean opener Shai Hope. The right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman scored 115 runs off 140 balls (10 fours). Darren Bravo (39) and Roston Chase (41) supported Hope with two good partnerships of 77 runs (for the second wicket) and 85 runs (for the third wicket) respectively.
At the end of that innings, Keemo Paul (32 not out off 17 balls) and Hayden Walsh (20 not out 8 balls) played two cameos which helped the team to cross 280 marks.
While the expensive bowler Isuru Udana (3/82) bagged three wickets, Nuwan Pradeep (1/42) and Thisara Perera (1/40) picked up one wicket each.