Saturday 12 April 2008 

Chanderpaul And Samuels See West Indies To Series Win


Sri Lanka 112-5 (Tharanga 40, Gayle 2-6)
West Indies 125-3 (Samuels 54no, Chanderpaul 52no, Kulasekera 3-28)

West Indies won by 7 wickets (D/L) and lead the three-match series 2-0
By Aaron Kumar

A century partnership between Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Marlon Samuels ensured West Indies took an unassailable 2-0 One Day International series lead over Sri Lanka by winning the second match in Trinidad by three wickets.

West Indies were set a Duckworth-Lewis target of 125 to win in 25 overs which they achieved largely thanks to unbeaten innings of 52 from Chanderpaul and 54 from Samuels. It might not have been as close as Thursday's last-ball win, but it was no less impressive. They reached their target with 27 balls to spare, overcoming the loss of three wickets for 18 runs at the top of their innings.

Sri Lanka had earlier in the day reached 112 for five from 30.3 overs before a three hour break due to rain forced an early end to their innings.

For the run chase, West Indies promoted all-rounder Dwayne Bravo to open the batting with his captain Chris Gayle. However the experiment proved to be unsuccessful on this occasion, as Bravo (two) was bowled through the gate by Nuwan Kulasekara.

Gayle became Kulasekara�s second victim when he mistimed a pull shot and was caught at mid on by Kaushalya Weeraratne. Gayle departed for 11 and his demise left the West in trouble.

When West Indian vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan (one) followed Gayle back to the pavilion a few balls later, the home team were tottering at 18 for three after six overs.

Sarwan was Kulasekara�s third victim trapped in front. Kulasakera finished with career-best figures of three for 28 and was the only bowler to bowl his full quota of five overs.

After Sarwan�s dismissal Marlon Samuels and Shivnarine Chanderpaul launched a stunning, match-winning counter-attack.

Chanderpaul smashed Weeraratne for two fours and a six before hitting Kulasekara for a huge six over midwicket the following over, while Samuels was also scoring at better than a run a ball.

This enabled the West Indies to reach a healthier-looking 57 for three after ten overs.

Chanderpaul and Samuels continued to play in a positive manner as they brought up their 50 partnership off just 41 balls. The West Indies were 75 for three after 15 overs and seemingly in control of proceedings.

Samuels brought up the West Indies' 100 with a huge six over long on off the bowling of Chamara Kapugedera as the West Indies moved to within touching distance of a series clinching victory.

Chanderpaul hit a single through the cover region to bring up his half century from just 40 balls before a wide ball by Kulasekara brought up the hundred partnership between Chanderpaul and Samuels at a run rate of seven and a half per over.

A few balls after bringing up the 100 partnership, Marlon Samuels brought up his 50 with a glorious stroke through mid on.

Victory for the home side was sealed when Chanderpaul worked Dilshan to square leg for a single to seal a memorable victory and clinch the ODI series.

Earlier, the Sri Lankan openers made a solid start, Mahela Udawatte in particular hitting a couple of lovely square cuts early on. However, attempting to smash Jerome Taylor through the covers, he failed to read that a slower ball and only succeeded in lofting the ball to Sewnarine Chattergoon at backward point.

Kumar Sangakkara replaced Udawatte at the wicket; he and Upul Tharanga looked to keep the scoreboard ticking over and build a platform and Sri Lanka were 54 for one after 15 overs.

The Sri Lankans were tied down by some extremely accurate and hostile bowling by the West Indies, as Daren Powell in particular was able to exact plenty of bounce which unsettled the batsmen. Sri Lanka found themselves 68 for one after 20 overs.

The pressure that was being created eventually told as Tharanga (40) slashed a ball from Bravo to Taylor who took an excellent catch on the third man boundary.

Heavy rain meant that play was suspended after Sri Lanka had faced 24.1 overs but after a 45 minute delay play did finally resume and Kumar Sangakkara (28) fell soon after the resumption, as he mistimed a sweep and was caught at square leg by Sarwan off the bowling of Gayle for 28.

Weeraratne, sent in as a pinch hitter, followed Sangakkara back to the pavilion in the next over when he drove Daren Sammy straight to Bravo at backward point for 15.

Chamara Silva did not last long, he inside edged a delivery from Gayle onto his stumps and was dismissed for two, and that proved to be almost the last action of the first innings.

Gayle ended with figures of two for six from the nine balls he bowled.

A further rain delay which lasted for three hours ended Sri Lanka�s innings prematurely, closing on 112 for five.

The West Indies, who won the toss, then made relatively comfortable work of their revised target of 125 from 25 overs with Chanderpaul once again the hero of the hour and the squad reaping the rewards for another committed and disciplined all-round display.

� Cricket World 2008

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