ICC WT20: Sri Lanka Too Strong For West Indies

ICC WT20: Sri Lanka Too Strong For West Indies
ICC WT20: Sri Lanka Too Strong For West Indies
©Action Images / Andrew Couldridge Livepic

Sri Lanka 192-5 (Jayasuriya 81, Dilshan 74) beat
West Indies 177-5 (Bravo 51, Mendis 2-25) by 15 runs
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ICC World Twenty20 Group C, Trent Bridge

Explosive half-centuries from Sanath Jayasuriya and Tillakaratne Dilshan set up a convincing 15-run for Sri Lanka over the West Indies in their ICC World Twenty20 Group D encounter at Trent Bridge.

West Indian captain Chris Gayle, who thrilled the crowd at The Oval earlier in the tournament with some outrageous hitting, sat out the match to rest a knee injury but the crowd were treated to an exhibition of thumping boundary-hitting by left-hander Jayasuriya, who thrashed 81 in 47 balls at the top of the Sri Lankan order. His opening partner Dilshan faced the same amount of balls, hitting 74.

Out of form coming into the tournament, Jayasuriya was quickly into his stride, smashing Fidel Edwards over deep backward square for a six and dominating an opening stand worth 124 with Dilshan.

"The main point of this game was to get some momentum for us going forward, so we were looking for a win," captain Kumar Sangakkara said afterwards. "I am really happy with the way the guys played, Sanath Jayasuriya, genius, ably supported by Dilshan and everyone chipping in."

The veteran stroked ten fours in addition to two more sixes before he was trapped in front trying to reverse sweep Lendl Simmons. Simmons' medium pace proved an unlikely source of wickets, and he took all the first four to fall.

Dilshan played another enterprising innings, scooping balls over his head and shoulders for boundaries, hitting 11 fours and one six before he chipped Simmons in the air for a simple catch, held by Sulieman Benn.

Simmons threatened to run through the order when he had Sangakkara (5) and Mahela Jayawardene (4) dismissed cheaply as Sri Lanka, who had looked on course for 200 throughout their innings, lost momentum towards the death.

Chamara Silva (5) was the last man to fall, caught by wicket-keeper and captain Denesh Ramdin off Jerome Taylor for seven.

The West Indies then matched the Sri Lankans' rate of scoring until the predictable and devastating turn to spin undid them. Simmons, who picked up four for 19 with his bowling, continued his fine day by blasting 29 in 19 balls before he was well caught at slip by Jayawardene as he tried to cut Muttiah Muralitharan.

From 38 without loss, the West Indies slipped to 73 for four as Andre Fletcher (13), Xavier Marshall (14) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (1) fell in quick succession.

Fletcher was bowled by a Lasith Malinga slower ball that he failed to pick up while Marshall and Chanderpaul were victims of Ajantha Mendis.

A restorative partnership of 77 between Dwayne Bravo (51) and Ramnaresh Sarwan kept the West Indies in the game, but only just as the run rate increased as the match went on.

Bravo entertained with five fours and two sixes, making his runs in just 27 balls but Sarwan could not keep pace against the unorthodox Sri Lankan attack, closing unbeaten on 28 in 25 balls.

Lasith Malinga finished with two for 45 and Mendis returned two for 25 as Sri Lanka had enough in hand despite a worthy effort of 19 in 11 balls from Keiron Pollard to run out comfortable winners.

Ramdin ahead to the return of Gayle and the Super Eight: "We are going to go out and play hard cricket," he said. "We would have loved to have continued our winning ways but hopefully, we can bounce back again.

"Gayle will be fit and he will be coming back for the next game," he added.

© Cricket World 2009