Sri Lanka cruise to victory over the West Indies
Mahela Jayawardene produced yet another classic Twenty20 master class scoring 98 runs during a 166 run partnership with Kumar Sangakkara as the pair helped Sri Lanka cruise to a crushing 57 run victory over a disappointingly poor West Indies team.
Having been set such a large total Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul started off positively scoring 22 runs inside the first 9 balls as the openers tried to put the Sri Lanka bowlers under pressure.
It was a plan that soon failed with Chanderpaul (11) the first batsman to be dismissed after Angelo Mathews struck at the end of his first over with a perfect short ball which Chanderpaul top edged to Chamara Kapugedera at short third man.
With one opener all ready back in the dugout Chris Gayle (5) lasted 2 more before he was caught by Matthews at extra cover after Gayle succumbed to a delivery from Nuwan Kulasekara to reduce the West Indies to 23-2 after just 2.2 overs.
With the loss of Gayle and Chanderpaul the West Indies were left with a mountain to climb and their batsman never troubled the Sri Lanka total
Although Ramnaresh Sarwan and Dwyane Bravo built a third wicket partnership of 53 their efforts to reach this total took 50 balls which ended the West Indies chances of victory.
With the game fizzling out Bravo (23) and Sarwan (28) were both dismissed within a couple of overs of each and the West Indies continued to lose wickets at regular intervals as Sri Lanka cruised to a very easy victory.
Having won the toss Sri Lanka got off to a nervous start against the West Indies fast bowlers with Kemar Roach and Jerome Taylor creating a small amount of swing and utilising the bounce in the wicket to unsettle the openers.
Having survived Roach’s first over Sanath Jayasuriya was lucky to remain at the crease after Kieron Pollard put down an easy catch at backward point much the to annoyance of Taylor at the start of the second over.
Jayasuriya continued to ride his luck surviving another chance three balls later after he appeared to glove behind an easy catch but TV replays clearly showed the ball coming off his arm guard.
After creating two chances it was third time lucky for the West Indies at the start of the next over when Roach forced Jayasuriya (6) into rushing his shot with a short ball with the opener glanced to short fine leg where Taylor took an easy catch to leave Sri Lanka 7-1.
With Jayasuriya gone Jayawardene () was joined at the crease by Sri Lanka skipper Sangakkara (68) and the pair played a classic innings building a partnership of ** runs as they built the foundations of Sri Lanka’s innings.
The partnership was lead by Jayawardene who enjoyed another impressive innings as he scored his third half century to easily become the highest run scoring in the tournament by some margin.
As he displayed in the previous two games Jayawardene played a mixture of classic cricket strokes and big shots proving once again Twenty20 cricket isn’t just about slogging the ball out of the ground.
Having started the game full of hope the West Indies quickly went off the boil after Jayawardene and Sangakkara stamped their authority on the game.
Poor fielding, lacklustre bowling and missed stumpings blighted the host’s innings as they did everything possible to help Sri Lanka score a big total at the Kensington Oval.
Sangakkara brought up his 50 in the 14th over with a well placed single through deep midwicket as the pairs partnership past 140 runs.
With five overs remaining the pair pushed on punishing some really disappointing bowling from the West Indies scoring another 41 runs before Dwayne Bravo finally broke through to remove Sangakkara (68) ending the pairs partnership which had reached 166.
With his partner gone Jayawardene punished Bravo with a massive six and then a boundary to move within 3 of his second Twenty20 International century.
Having taken a single from the first ball of Roach’s final over Jayawardene was left stranded at the non strikes end as Chamara Jayawardene was unable to get the opener on strike for any of the final five balls as Sri Lanka ended their innings with a total of 195-3.
After being given a master class in batting by Jayawardene; the West Indies will have their work cut out to chase down such a big total.