Sri Lanka openers set up victory
Sanath Jayasuriya and Tillekeratne Dilshan’s big-hitting century opening stand powered Sri Lanka to a 15-run win over West Indies in the ICC World Twenty20 match at Trent Bridge.
In the absence of their injured captain Chris Gayle, the Windies were unable to match the tempo of Sri Lanka’s 192 for five - despite a swift half-century from Dwayne Bravo.
Sri Lanka therefore concluded their Group C campaign with two wins from two, while the Windies must regroup in time to face India in their first Super Eights match on Friday.
Jayasuriya (81) enjoyed most of the strike but even so made his fellow Indian Premier League star Dilshan (74) look almost pedestrian as he hit 10 fours and three sixes from only 47 balls, after Sri Lanka had been put in.
Many of his blows were trademark, vintage and wholly intended slices to and beyond the square off-side boundaries - and it was only a nod to modern developments that eventually saw him go lbw, caught in front attempting a reverse-sweep at Lendl Simmons (4-19).
Jayasuriya had been largely successful with his earlier attempts at joining the innovators, and his only moments of fortune came on 30 when Denesh Ramdin failed to cling on to a half-chance and then on 64 - Simmons unable to collect an aerial pull.
Dilshan chipped a reverse-sweep through the fingertips of Sulieman Benn at short third-man, off Kieron Pollard, but was otherwise chanceless on his way to a 35-ball 50 which contained six fours and a six.
The most notable victims of the openers’ onslaught were Fidel Edwards and Pollard, who conceded 82 runs in five wicketless overs. It was a mere curiosity that Simmons’ medium-pace should prove so successful - as well as seeing off Jayasuriya and Dilshan to reverse-sweeps, he also accounted for Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.
Stand-in captain Ramdin set little store in Simmons’ unlikely statistics when he left him one short of his allocation, choosing Jerome Taylor instead to bowl the final over.
He was vindicated too when Taylor conceded only five runs in it, and took the final wicket.
The West Indies’ reply was minus Andre Fletcher when Lasith Malinga bowled him with a high full toss in the fourth over.
But Simmons was largely responsible for a near nine-an-over rate until his was the first of three wickets to fall for only four runs in seven balls, to the spin of Ajantha Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan.
Simmons backed away and edged Murali to slip; Xavier Marshall got underneath an attempted big hit at Mendis, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul edged on off the same bowler.
From 73 for four in the eighth over, Bravo (51) and Ramnaresh Sarwan were up against it on a pitch helping the spinners.
Bravo had made only two when Murali ran out of room at long-on and had to throw a possible catch off Isuru Udana back into play.
An Angelo Mathews circus act on the long-on boundary resulted in three runs for Sarwan, rather than either a six or out off Mendis, and Bravo was dropped by Murali when he skied to midwicket on 42.
But the Windies needed many more breaks to go their way - and despite a stand of 77 which more than doubled the score in 10 overs as forecast rain began to fall, they never seriously threatened the target set.
Sarwan simply could not find the boundary. But the result could not be confirmed until Bravo was out of the equation - which he was, to an outfield catch, shortly after completing a 37-ball 50 with a second six to go with five fours.
After the match, it was announced that West Indies had maintained a slow over rate during the Sri Lanka innings - falling two overs short of their target.
As a result, stand-in captain Ramdin was fined 20% of his match fee and the rest of the team received 10% fines.