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Sri Lanka Defeat West Indies by 1 Run in Nail-Biting Contest

wesNew Delhi, Thursday, November 24 – Hardly a few would have thought about witnessing a nail-biting contest between West Indies and Sri Lanka at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo. West Indies captain Jason Holder won the toss and decided to bowl first. It was somewhere clear in the mind of host that pace of Sri Lankan attack will be doubled thanks to a defeat against the same squad by 62 runs in a match held on November 16.

Poor show at that point of time perhaps made Sri Lanka give best efforts in the match yesterday. This was probably one of the reasons why they tasted success despite the fact that West Indies were trying their best to attain the big target of 331 runs in 50 overs. West Indies squad consisted of players like Johnson Charles, Jonathan Carter, Shai Hope Kraigg Brathwaite, Evin Lewis, Rovman Powell, Jason Holder, Ashley Nurse, Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite and Shannon Gabriel. The combination of batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders looked balanced. The players to sit on bench in hope to get a chance to play in the next encounter were Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Devendra Bishoo and Jason Mohammed.

On the other hand, Sri Lankan team was captained by Upul Tharanga. The group included Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Upul Tharanga, Shehan Jayasuriya, Asela Gunaratne, Sachith Pathirana, Nuwan Kulasekara, Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal. At the same time, Lakshan Sandakan, Lahiru Kumara, Jeffrey Vandersay and Dasun Shanaka, were the cricketers in extra for yesterday’s game. A game with a win would have been a boost for both sides. Likelihood of Sri Lanka accumulating some good runs was up and it happened in reality in the ground that was full of enthusiastic cricket fans, who were present to back favourite team. If scoring pattern at the match venue is to be told then average first inning score is 236, while average second inning score is 208.

Highest total of 397 for the loss of five wickets in 44 overs was put by New Zealand against Zimbabwe. In contrast, the lowest total of 118 in 24.5 overs was put by Zimbabwe in opposition to Sri Lanka. Highest chased was done by the host vs. New Zealand whereas lowest total was also defended by Zimbabwe against Sri Lanka. Here is to mention that possibility of an exciting contest among the heavyweights was high post giving such interesting figures, and this turned true completely. Kusal Perera lost his wicket to Shannon Gabriel at 7 runs early. But stability was brought by Dhananjaya de Silvac and Niroshan Dickwella. de Silvac’s wicket went into the pocket Brathwaite at a score of 58 (4 x 7). More constancy was brought by Kusal Mendis, who also played a knock of 94 runs, which included seven 4s and five sixes.

Shehan Jayasuriya lost his wicket to Brathwaite at 9 runs. Upul Tharanga succumbed to Holder at 26 runs (4 x 3). Asela Gunaratnec was dismissed by Holder at 6 runs. Sachith Pathirana was not out at 24 (4 x 3). Early jolts were received by West Indies too after Johnson Charles lost his wicket to Lakmal at a score of 26 that were attained in 24 balls, with the help of four 4s and a six. Kraigg Brathwaite wasn’t impressive, succumbing to Asela Gunaratne at 16 runs. Both Shai Hope and Jonathan Carter were run out victims at a score of 25 runs and 6 runs, respectively. Evin Lewis was eying a partnership but that wasn’t coming in a way wanted. Rovman Powell was lbw by Kulasekara at 10 runs. The opener Lewis was also run out thanks to efforts Mendis and Dickwella. His 148 runs off 122 balls comprised 15 4s and four biggies.

Jason Holder was needed to stay strong and take team near to victory. He tried his best and even remained not out at 45 runs (4 x 1 and 6 x 1). However, wickets kept on falling from other end. Carlos Brathwaite was dismissed by Kulasekara at 19 runs (6 x 1), while Ashley Nurse by Lakmal at a score of 2. Sulieman Benn’s dismissal in 49.5 overs by Pradeep changed statistics for West Indies as he was doing good, getting 11 runs in 6 balls (4 x 1 and 6 x 1). Shannon Gabriel was not out at 0 runs. West Indies could only manage to get 329 runs, falling short of two runs to win the match. Mendis was given Man of the Match award.

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