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PIX: Sri Lanka sign-off with thumping win over Windies

Last updated on: November 04, 2021 23:52 IST
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Images from the T20 World Cup Super 12s match between Sri Lanka and West Indies, in Abu Dhabi, on Thursday. 

Sri Lanka's players celebrate after Binura Fernando dismisses West Indies opener Chris Gayle early.

IMAGE: Sri Lanka's players celebrate after Binura Fernando dismisses West Indies opener Chris Gayle early during the T20 World Cup Super 12s match, at the Sheikh Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi, on Thursday. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Sri Lanka produced an inspired performance to win their concluding match of the  T20 World Cup by 20 runs and end the West Indies’ hopes of defending their title, in Abu Dhabi, on Thursday.

Kieron Pollard’s side went into the game knowing they needed a big victory to keep their chances of qualifying from Group 1 alive.

 

However, Sri Lanka, who were already out of qualification contention, put the West Indies to the sword after being put in to bat, as Charith Asalanka and Pathum Nissanka scored outstanding half-centuries in a daunting total of 189 for 3.

Binura Fernando celebrates the wicket of Evin Lewis.

IMAGE: Binura Fernando celebrates after dismissing Evin Lewis. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

In reply, the West Indies lost both openers Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis in the second over, and never looked like getting close to the target despite lively knocks from Nicholas Pooran (46) and Shimron Hetmyer (80 not out).

With 190 to get, they got off to an inauspicious start when Gayle fell in the second over, plonking a catch to mid-off for 1 off 5 balls.

Kieron Pollard is bowled by Wanindu Hasaranga

IMAGE: Kieron Pollard is bowled by Wanindu Hasaranga. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Binura Fernando picked up a second wicket just four balls later when the dangerous Evin Lewis chopped on as he looked for a third boundary in the over.

Sri Lanka struck another blow in the sixth over when Roston Chase was brilliantly caught by Bhanuka Rajapaksa to leave West Indies three down inside the Powerplay.

Dwayne Bravo is bowled by Wanindu Hasaranga.

IMAGE: Dwayne Bravo is bowled by Wanindu Hasaranga. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Pooran, promoted to number three, looked fluent in his 46 off 34, and alongside Shimron Hetmyer gave West Indies a glimmer of hope.

But Pooran’s dismissal in the 12th over ultimately ended whatever hopes the defending champions may have entertained, as Andre Russell, Pollard and Jason Holder fell cheaply.

Even Hetmyer's explosive finale wasn't enough as the West Indies finished with 169 for 8, 21 runs short.

Sri Lanka's Pathum Nissanka is congratulated by Charith Asalanka after completing his half century.

IMAGE: Sri Lanka's Pathum Nissanka is congratulated by Charith Asalanka after completing a half century. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Earlier, the West Indies' hopes were left hanging by a thread after Sri Lanka set them 190 for victory.

Sri Lanka’s response to being put in to bat after losing the toss was to take the attack to the opposition. Openers Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Perera got them off to a strong start in the Powerplay.

Rising star Charith Asalanka, at number three, also went on the offensive and came up with the knock of the day, stroking a brilliant 68 off just 41 as Sri Lanka put up their highest total of the tournament.

Going into Thursday's match, Sri Lanka’s hopes of making it to the semi-finals were over, while the West Indies, despite losing to England and South Africa at the start of their Super 12s campaign, still had a chance.

West Indies pacer Andre Russell takes the catch off his own bowling to dismiss Kusal Perera.

IMAGE: West Indies pacer Andre Russell takes the catch off his own bowling to dismiss Kusal Perera. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Perera and Nissanka got Sri Lanka off to a strong start in their final game of the tournament. The wicketkeeper-batter, in particular, looked in sparkling form, hitting three boundaries as he raced to 29 off 20 before being dismissed by a spectacular caught-and-bowled by Andre Russell.

But the fall of Perera brought Asalanka to the crease, and the 24-year-old showed attacking intent right immediately.

Asalanka took the attack to West Indies and put on a partnership of 40 with Nissanka as the score raced to 82 for 1 at the half-way stage of the innings.

Dasun Shanaka hit 25	off 14 balls, including 2 fours and a six, to power the Lankans to a huge total.

IMAGE: Dasun Shanaka hit 25 off 14 balls, including 2 fours and a six, to power the Lankans to a huge total. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

But the fall of Perera brought Asalanka to the crease, and the 24-year-old got going straightaway and put on a fine partnership with Nissanka through the middle overs.

The 91-run stand between the two for the second wicket finally came to an end when DJ Bravo had Nissanka caught on the boundary for 51.

But Asalanka just kept rolling, overtaking Jos Buttler as the highest run-scorer at the tournament before falling in the penultimate over for 68.

Skipper Dasun Shanaka rubbed salt into West Indies’ wounds with a sparkling late cameo, smashing 22 off just 13 balls, to help his side post 189 for 3.

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