Angelo Mathews’ experience came to the fore as Sri Lanka kept its nerve to beat West Indies by six runs in the third and final ODI on Sunday. The win helped the islanders sweep the series 3-0.
Chasing the hosts’ 307, openers Shai Hope (72, 88b, 6×4) and Sunil Ambris (60, 60b, 6×4, 1×6) gave the visitors a flying start, adding 111.
Nicholas Pooran (50b, 61b, 3×4, 1×6) and Kieron Pollard (49, 50b, 6×4, 1×6) then sustained the momentum and it looked like the Caribbeans were on course to chase down the big total.
With West Indies needing 13 off the final over, the ice-cool Mathews was on the ball despite being hit for a four off the first delivery. Off the next, he had Fabian Allen caught at deep midwicket. Allen’s cameo had threatened to take the game away from the hosts with a cameo.
Earlier, Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva smashed half-centuries for Sri Lanka after it opted to bat. Mendis top-scored with 55 while de Silva hit 51.
Paceman Alzarri Joseph claimed four wickets as Sri Lanka was bowled out in 50 overs.
Avishka Fernando and skipper Dimuth Karunaratne gave the hosts a brisk start with a 60-run opening stand before the West Indies struck.
Joseph got Fernando caught behind for 28, and spinner Roston Chase caught and bowled Karunaratne for 44.
Kusal Perera, who made 44, and Mendis then rebuilt the innings during their 89-run stand to take the attack to the opposition.
The in-form Mendis, who hit a century in his team’s thrashing of West Indies on Wednesday, completed his 17th ODI fifty before falling to Joseph.
Fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell bowled former captain Angelo Mathews for 12, but the rest of the batsmen kept up the charge.
Dhanajaya, who completed his fifty in just 45 balls with a boundary off Jason Holder, and Thisara Perera put on 64 runs for the sixth wicket.
Joseph broke the stand with the wicket of De Silva and sent T. Perera back to the pavilion for 38, but the damage had already been done.
The scores: Sri Lanka 307 in 50 overs (Dimuth Karunaratne 44, Kusal Perera 44, Kusal Mendis 55, Dhananjaya de Silva 51, Thisara Perera 38, Alzarri Joseph 4/65) bt West Indies 301/9 in 50 overs (Shai Hope 72, Sunil Ambris 60, Nicholas Pooran 50, Kieron Pollard 49, Fabian Allen 37, Angelo Mathews 3/53).
Source: The Hindu