Nicholas Pooran's ton not good enough as Sri Lanka pip West Indies in high-scoring WC clash
Dead rubber, eh? Just when you think that you pretty much where the game is headed, cricket has this unique habit of surprising you every now and then.
Sri Lanka 338-6 (50 Overs) [Avishka Fernando 104(103), Kusal Perera(wk) 64(51); Holder 2/59, Fabian Allen 1/44]
West Indies 315-9 (50 Overs) [Pooran 118(103), Fabian Allen 51(32); Malinga 3/55, Mathews 1/6]
Result- Sri Lanka won by 23 runs
WHAT A GAME – Sri Lanka win by 23 runs!— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) July 1, 2019
Nicholas Pooran notched up a splendid century for West Indies, but Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga came up with the goods – yet again. ?? #SLvWI | #LionsRoar | #MenInMaroon | #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/hjg51AI3S5
Chasing a steep target of 339, West Indies were tottering at 84-4, before Nicholas Pooran played the inning of his life to take the match deep.
West Indies won the toss and invited Sri Lanka to bat first at the Riverside ground in Durham. Sri Lanka's most consistent batsmen in this tournament Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera got the team off to a good start, both stitching a 93-run partnership.
Avishka Fernando then came out to bat and carried on from where he had left, scoring a run-a-ball century. Cameos from Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne took the team to 338.
This was Sri Lanka's highest total in this World Cup and looked a big ask for West Indies, more so, after they lost four wickets within the first 20 overs, with Chris Gayle departing for 35.
Nicholas Pooran then took matters in his hands and raced to a 103-ball 118, with able support from all-rounder Fabian Allen, who notched up a half-century from 30 deliveries.
Heartbreak for Braithwaite, heartbreak for @windiescricket. With Pooran going so well, there were a lot of 'what ifs' floating in the air till Braithwaite was out there. Now, with 6 down, the target of 339 looks distant. Sri Lanka on top.#CWC19 #SLvWI #LionsRoar #MenInMaroon pic.twitter.com/rPVse1QQYx— Cricket World (@Cricket_World) July 1, 2019
Just like Sri Lanka, West Indies also made a few errors under pressure, not least three run-outs of Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaite and Fabian Allen which turned the tide. Despite Nicholas Pooran's valiant ton - who was by the way, dismissed on the first ball that Angelo Mathews bowled in international cricket in 18 months - the total proved too much for the Men Maroon at the end as they fell short by 23 runs.
Sri Lanka- Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Kasun Rajitha, Lasith Malinga
West Indies- Chris Gayle, Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite, Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Shannon Gabriel
©Cricket World 2019