Perera, Thirimanne wrap up series for Sri Lanka in style
Sri Lanka 225-2 (Perera 99) beat
West Indies 214 (Charles 83) by eight wickets (D/L)
Second One-Day International, Colombo
Kusal Perera and Lahiru Thirimanne shared a 156-run stand as Sri Lanka chased down 225 in 36.3 overs against West Indies winning the second One-Day International in Colombo by eight wickets and with it the series too.
Perera fell one short of a deserving century while Thirimanne remained unbeaten on 81 as the pair never allowed West Indies to get back into the game.
West Indies won the toss and elected to bat first despite weather being expected to play spoilsport later in the game.
West Indies made three changes to their line-up with Jermaine Blackwood, Ravi Rampaul and Jason Mohammed replacing Denesh Ramdin, Jason Holder and Andre Russell.
Holder was suspended for maintaining a slow over-rate in the previous game while Russell was injured. Marlon Samuels led West Indies in the absence of Holder.
Sri Lanka had Denesh Chandimal returning from a one-match suspension with Danushka Gunathilaka making way for him.
Blackwood (9), who was promoted to number three, joined Johnson Charles (83) as the duo plundered Malinga for three boundaries in the third over.
Sachithra Senanayake (1-25) was introduced in the fourth over, and he provided the breakthrough straightaway as he removed Blackwood, caught at long-on.
Charles and Darren Bravo mixed caution with aggression during their run-a-ball 70-run stand.
Charles went berserk smashing Shehan Jayasuriya (0-11) for a six in the 11th over and followed it with a six and a boundary of the next over from Ajantha Mendis (0-44) to bring up his half-century.
However, Milinda Siriwardana (2-27) got the prized wicket of Bravo in the 16th over with the score reading 99 for three.
Charles was eventually out dismissed 17 short of a well deserved century, lbw to Siriwardana.
West Indies were 149 for three in the 27th over and that's when rain intervened as expected, allowing no play for close to three hours.
The game was revised to 38 overs per side which meant that West Indies had a little more than 11 overs left in their innings.
On the resumption of play, West Indies lost Jonathan Carter (5) and Mohammed (4) early, reeling at 169 for six.
However, a quick a 42-run stand between Samuels (63) and Carlos Brathwaite (17) took them past the 200-run mark.
Samuels brought up his fifty in 51 deliveries, but was run out a couple of overs later, following which West Indies collapsed to 214 all out having managed just one run and lost three wickets in the final over from Malinga.
Siriwardana and Malinga were the pick of the bowlers with two wickets while Lakmal and Senanayake managed a wicket apiece.
Chasing a revised target of 225 in 38 overs as per the Duckworth/Lewis method, Perera (99) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (17) took Sri Lanka to 40 in the first four overs in which they scored five boundaries and a six.
Sunil Narine (1-27) was introduced in the fifth over and just as Senanayake had done earlier, took a wicket with his first ball, castling Dilshan.
But what happened after that was a carnage as Thirimanne (81 not out) shared a 156-run stand with Perera ending the hopes of West Indies.
Thirimanne announced his arrival with a boundary followed by a six clearly showing his positive intentions.
The duo brought up their 50-run stand in the 15th over and that's when they decided to switch gears. It took them 65 deliveries to reach the milestone.
They scored 52 runs in six overs between 19th and 25th over as Sri Lanka reached 171 for one at the halfway mark, in the process bringing up the 100-run stand in 104 deliveries.
Perera was suffering from cramps as he was nearing his century which prompted him to go for a big shot when on 99, only finding Brathwaite (0-35) at deep fine leg.
However, an unbeaten 29-run stand from Thirimanne and Chandimal (15 not out) ensured Sri Lanka reached the target in the 37th over with eight wickets in hand.
With the win, Sri Lanka have won the series 2-0 with one more game to go, which gets underway on 7th November. Perera was named as the man of the match for his 99.
© Cricket World 2015