The Sri Lankan team have managed to keep away the Nicholas Pooran-massacre defeating the Windies team by 23 runs at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street on Monday. Sri Lanka posted a mammoth first innings total on the back of Avishka Fernando’s sensational hundred and vital knocks from Kusal Perera and Lahiru Thirimanne. In the second innings, things became pretty difficult for the Windies team as they kept on losing wickets at regular intervals.
But then Nicholas Pooran smacked a remarkable century to make a game out of nowhere and put the Lankan team under the pump with some staggering power-hitting. However, eventually, he failed to take his team over the finishing line. With this win, the Lankans are somehow still alive in the tough race to the semis.
Fernando’s fabulous century fires Sri Lanka to 338
After losing the toss and being put in to bat first, Sri Lanka got off to a brilliant start at the top as the two openers, Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera provided a solid opening foundation. The duo batted really well to stitch a fabulous opening partnership of 93 runs before the dismissal of Karunaratne in the 16th over. Perera after playing a fine innings of 64 runs got out in the form of a run-out dismissal.
Then the pair of Kusal Mendis and Avishka Fernando got together to resurrect the Lankan innings. The duo added an impressive partnership of 85 runs before Mendis’ wicket in the 32nd over. However, Fernando kept things looking good for Sri Lanka and stitched important partnerships first with Angelo Mathews and then along with Lahiru Thirimanne.
Fernando played an outstanding innings of 104 runs off 103 balls that included of nine fours and two sixes, to help Sri Lanka finish with a daunting first innings score of 338 runs. For Windies, skipper Jason Holder finished with two scalps, while Thomas, Cottrell and Allen picked up a wicket each.
Chasing a huge target of 339 runs, the Windies team got off to a disappointing start, losing two early wickets in the form of Sunil Ambris and Shai Hope with just 22 runs on the scoreboard. Lankan pace spearhead Lasith Malinga once again showed his class by picking two early wickets to put the opposition on the backfoot. The pair of Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer then started the repair work with a brief partnership of 49 runs before Gayle got out in the 16th over scoring 35 runs off 48 balls.
The Sensational Pooran Show
Hetmyer also got dismissed pretty soon leaving Windies in trouble again at 84 for 4. The duo of Nicholas Pooran and skipper Jason Holder then got together to steady the things and stitched a fine stand of 61 runs. Things were looking to ease out for the Windies with Pooran getting to his fifty, but then Holder gifted his wicket while attempting a big shot in the 29th over.
The pair of Pooran and Fabian Allen then led Windies’ final fightback with an impressive partnership of 83 runs at a steady pace. Allen got out in a pretty unfortunate manner after playing an amazing cameo of 51 runs off just 32 balls. Pooran smashed a stunning century to make a match out of nowhere and took the game quite deep.
The southpaw entertained the crowd with some remarkable hitting during his stellar knock of 118 runs off 103 balls that consisted of 11 fours and 4 sixes before falling victim to Angelo Mathews in the 48th over. Along with his dismissal, the game was also gone for the Windies as they managed to finish with 315 for 9 in 50 overs. For Sri Lanka, Malinga finished with three crucial wickets to his name.
Sri Lanka: 338/6 in 50 overs (Avishka Fernando-104, Kusal Perera-64; Jason Holder 2/59)
Windies: 315/9 in 50 overs (Nicholas Pooran-118, Fabian Allen-51; Lasith Malinga 3/55)
Result: Sri Lanka won the match by 23 runs.