Published: Tue, July 02, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Sri Lanka beat West Indies by 23 runs

Sri Lanka beat West Indies by 23 runs

West Indies have had a awful World Cup but pride and shame are powerful catalysts.

But powerpack Pooran, whose conversion from a Twenty20 specialist has proved a rare success for Caribbean cricket at this tournament, launched into his task and appeared to have found a willing and able accomplice in Fabian Allen, who belied his previous top score of 10 with a combination of exquisite timing and power.

However, with 57 runs required from 36 deliveries, West Indies suffered a catastrophic blow when Allen was run out with the momentum of the match having shifted from Sri Lanka.

Avishka Fernando smashed his first ODI century and opener Kusal Perera hit eight boundaries in his 51-ball 64 as Sri Lanka finished with their highest total of the tournament. A ton from Avishka Fernando followed by another good showing from Lasith Malinga meant West Indies could score only 315-9 chasing 339.

The 23-year-old scored his first one-day global century but fell for 118 with Sri Lanka going on to beat the West Indies by 23 runs at Durham.

Victorious Sri Lankan captain, Dimuth Karunaratne, says that these kinds of wins build a huge amount of confidence.

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Fernando was only drafted into the side for Sri Lanka's sixth match.

Fernando played an innings described by Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara as "masterful", with the right-hander striking nine fours and two sixes and sharing fifty stands with Kusal Mendis (39), Mathews (26) and Lahiru Thirimanne (45no) at Chester-le-Street.

Pooran and Allen responded in fine style, though, and even when Allen was run out after a mix-up in the 45th over, one ball before his partner reached three figures, West Indies still had hope with Pooran at the crease - only for Mathews to then pick up the crucial wicket.

West Indies started the tournament with a thumping seven-wicket victory against Pakistan but have not won a single match since, with their batsmen in particular letting them down.

"It's still an global game", he said, imploring people to care about this World Cup dead rubber - the first of the tournament to feature two teams with nothing to play for. For the Sri Lanka team, who scored not one ODI century in 2018, and only two others this year, it was a breath of fresh air.

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