On Wednesday (4th March), while the West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard played his historic 500th T20 match, his team beat the hosts, Sri Lanka, in the first game of the two-match T20I series at Pallekele.
After winning the toss, the visitors managed to score 196/4 (20 overs) in the first innings. In reply, Sri Lanka were bundled out for 171 runs (19.1 overs), and West Indies won the match by 25 runs.
Sri Lankan innings: Kusal Perera and Wanindu Hasaranga provided some fight
Sri Lanka lost their first five wickets in the Powerplay as they were struggling on 56/5 (6 overs). Oshane Thomas bagged all those five wickets in that Powerplay as his bowling figures were 3-0-28-5. He didn’t bowl another over after the Powerplay.
However, the opener Kusal Perera and the middle-order Wanindu Hasaranga handled the next situation very well and gradually built up the crucial 87 runs partnership for the sixth wicket. But after that partnership was broken in the 16th over, Sri Lanka failed to make more fight in that game. While Perera scored 66 runs off 38 balls (6 fours and 3 sixes), Hasaranga played the knock of 44 runs off 34 balls (4 fours).
Apart from Oshane Thomas, Rovan Powell (2/31) also managed to take more than one wicket in that innings.
West Indies innings: Lendl Simmons batted full innings and also got some great supports
West Indies openers Lendl Simmons and Brandon King provided a very good start with 74 runs partnership. After King was dismissed on 33 runs, wicketkeeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran (14) lost his wicket cheaply. But during the partnership with Pooran, Simmons completed his half-century in 31 balls.
While Simmons put 39 runs partnership with Andre Russell for the third wicket, Russell scored 35 runs off just 14 balls (2 fours and 4 sixes) in that part before losing his wicket.
However, captain Pollard maintained the similar tempo of Russell while Simmons protected his wicket from the other end.
In the final over of that innings, Pollard lost his wicket on 34 runs off 15 balls (3 fours and 2 sixes). Meanwhile, Simmons remained not out on 67 runs off 51 balls (7 fours and 2 sixes).
Some crucial stats of this match
i) Kieron Pollard became the first cricketer to play 500 T20 matches.
ii) Pollard also became the second cricketer to score 10,000 runs in T20 career as he has scored the exact 10,000 T20 runs. The first cricketer in this list was Chris Gayle who has already scored 13,296 T20 runs.
iii) Caribbean fast bowler Oshane Thomas had the bowling figures of 3-0-28-5. It was the third-best T20I bowling figures by a West Indies bowler.