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Sri Lankan batsmen, Senanayake overpower West Indies

Sachithra Senanayake took a four-wicket haul as Sri Lanka won the first T20I against West Indies in Pallekele by 30 runs.
Sachithra Senanayake took a four-wicket haul as Sri Lanka won the first T20I against West Indies in Pallekele by 30 runs.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Sri Lanka 215-3 (Dilshan 56) beat
West Indies 185 (Fletcher 57) 30 runs
First Twenty20 International, Pallekele

Sachithra Senanayake picked up a four-wicket haul after a collective batting performance to ensure a 30-run victory for Sri Lanka against West Indies in the first Twenty20 International in Pallekele.

Just like the other games in the tour, the game began - or rather didn't - due to a rain interruption.

Close to 75 minutes was lost before the groundsmen were able to get rid of the water in the outfield. However, no overs were lost.

West Indies won the toss and opted to field first. Tillakaratne Dilshan (56) and Kusal Perera (40) started aggressively scoring 65 runs in the six overs of powerplay.

The 88-run stand came to an end in the 10th over, when Perera found Darren Sammy (0-26) at cover off Kieron Pollard (2-42).

Dilshan reached his fifty with a single to long-off in the same over, taking him 30 balls to reach the milestone.

A couple of overs, Pollard castled Dilshan to get his second wicket and Sri Lanka were 101 for two in the 12th over at that stage.

Shehan Jayasuriya (36), who was promoted to number three, paired with Dinesh Chandimal (40 not out) to add a quick 54-run stand for the third wicket.

Jayasuriya plundered Pollard for 23 runs in the 16th over to get Sri Lanka past the 150-run mark but he became a victim of Sunil Narine (1-20) in the next over.

Angelo Mathews (37 not out) provided the perfect finish for his team as he added an unbeaten 60 runs along with Chandimal - in just 22 deliveries - to take the total to 215 for three in 20 overs.

Narine was the pick of the bowlers having grabbed the wicket of Jayasuriya and conceded just 20 in his four overs while Pollard, even though expensive, accounted for two wickets.

The West Indies chase got off to a terrible start as Lasith Malinga (2-19) dismissed Johnson Charles (0) with the second ball of the innings.

Andre Fletcher (57) and Marlon Samuels (10) steadied the innings with a 29-run stand but the pressure of the required run-rate got the better of Samuels as he lofted Senanayake (4-46) straight to the deep mid-wicket fielder.

However, Andre Russell (16) and Fletcher got going with five sixes combined in two overs to take West Indies to 72 for two in seven overs.

Fletcher got to his fifty in 22 deliveries, which is the fourth fastest T20I fifty for West Indies but the very next ball, Russell departed at the other end, bowled by Milinda Siriwardana (2-41).

Fletcher then became a victim of a clever Dushmantha Chameera (1-30) slower delivery leaving West Indies reeling at 86 for four.

Dwayne Bravo (24) and Pollard (26) added 51 runs but once they fell by the 14th over, West Indies collapsed,having needed 73 more to win in the last six overs.

They were eventually dismissed for 185, falling short of the target by 30 runs. Senanayake picked up four wickets while Malinga and Siriwardana accounted for two each.

Senanayake picked up the man-of-the-match award. The second and final game of the tour will be held on 11th November in Colombo.

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