Sri Lanka 330-7 (Dickwella 94) beat
West Indies 329-9 (Lewis 148) by one-run
Fifth One-Day International, Tri-Series, Bulawayo
A blistering 148 from Evin Lewis went in vain as Sri Lanka managed to edge out West Indies by one-run while defending 330 runs in the fifth One-Day International in Bulawayo to secure a berth in the final of the tri-series.
West Indies won the toss and opted to field first. They went with an unchanged side while Nuwan Pradeep and Shehan Jayasuriya came back into the side replacing Dasun Shanaka and Jaffrey Vandersay.
Kusal Perera (7) fell early when he was castled by Shannon Gabriel (1-29). Niroshan Dickwella (94) started his innings with a boundary and smashed another four and a six off seventh over.
With Dhananjaya de Silva (58) solid at the other end, Sri Lanka reached 71 for one at the end of the first powerplay. In the process he also completed the 50-run stand with Dickwella.
Dickwella had a reprieve when Shai Hope dropped him in the 14th over. He completed a run-a-ball fifty and in the next over de Silva reached his third ODI fifty and the pair also brought their 100-run stand off 101 deliveries.
The 105-run stand finally ended when Kraigg Brathwaite (1-56) had de Silva caught off his own bowling. It was also his maiden ODI wicket.
There was no respite whatsoever for West Indies as Kusal Mendis (94) joined force with Dickwella and added 107-run stand for the third wicket.
Dickwella fell six runs short of a deserving century when he was trapped LBW by Jason Holder (3-57). Even though, West Indies chipped with the wickets of Jayasuriya (9), Upul Tharanga (26), Asela Gunaratne (6), Mendis scored a brilliant 94 at a strike-rate close to 130.
A cameo from Sachith Pathirana (24 not out) ensured Sri Lanka reached 330 for seven in the 50 overs.
In the first over bowled by Nuwan Kulasekara (2-73), Lewis (148) survived a review from Sri Lanka for LBW. However, Lewis and Johnson Charles (26) scored nine boundaries and a six in the first eight overs to take West Indies to 63.
Suranga Lakmal (2-67) provided Sri Lanka with the initial breakthrough dismissing Charles and West Indies soon lost Kraigg (16), Hope (25) and Jonathan Carter (6) finding themselves at 198 for four in the 33rd over.
Lewis kept the innings going at the other end reaching a 41-ball fifty and completed his century off 91 balls after smashing 12 boundaries and a six.
By the 36th over, West Indies were placed at 225 for five, needing another 106 runs from 14 deliveries.
Lewis and Holder (45 not out) scored three sixes combined to bring down the target to 71 runs from 60 deliveries. But in a bizarre mix-up, Lewis was run out in the 41st over after which West Indies managed only 16 runs in three overs.
Carlos Brathwaite (19) struck a six in the 44th over but boundaries were hard to come for West Indies leaving them 25 to get from the final three overs.
Kulasekara provided Sri Lanka with a timely breakthrough castling Carlos and conceded just five runs in the 48th over. Despite, losing Ashley Nurse (2), West Indies managed 10 runs off the penultimate over bowled by Lakmal.
With 10 runs to defend in the final over, Pradeep (1-65) conceded seven runs in the first four deliveries after Sulieman Benn (11) struck him for a six. However, he held his nerve and made a stunning comeback and picked the wicket of Benn in the penultimate delivery leaving West Indies three runs to get in the final ball.
For the second time in the series, Holder failed to finish the game in the final delivery and could managed just one-run as West Indies lost a thrilling game. The one-run win has confirmed Sri Lanka a berth in the final.
Mendis was awarded the man of the match for his blistering knock of 94.
© Cricket World 2016