Windies falter in opener despite Hope hundred
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CMC):
Shai Hope’s ninth one-day international hundred went in vain as West Indies lost their composure inside the last 10 overs to suffer a narrow one-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in a tense opener of the three-match series, here yesterday.
Sent in at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, West Indies’ 289 for seven from their 50 overs was underpinned by Hope’s stylish 115 from 140 balls – his third century in his last eight innings and fifth in the last 10 months.
Roston Chase (41) and left-hander Darren Bravo (39) both got starts but failed to carry on, while all-rounder Keemo Paul lashed a 17-ball unbeaten 32 batting at number eight, to give the Caribbean side a strong finish.
Captain Dimuth Karunaratne then top-scored with 52 off 57 deliveries in a century-opening stand with Avishka Fernando (50), while Kusal Perera struck 42 off 50 balls.
However, it was Man-of-the-Match Wanindu Hasaranga with a lively unbeaten 42 off 39 deliveries who turned the game in Sri Lanka’s favour, in a 38-run, seventh-wicket stand off 30 balls, with Thisara Perera who thumped a cameo 32 from 22 balls.
On 231 for six at the end of the 40th over and requiring 59 runs from 60 balls for victory, Sri Lanka got the better of the exchanges, thanks to Hasaranga’s efforts, the 22-year-old right-hander blasting four fours and a six and Perera counting three fours and a six.
The contest could have been even tighter late on, but left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell’s last two overs leaked 21 runs and Sri Lanka got home in the end with five balls to spare.
Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph claimed three for 42 while leg-spinner Hayden Walsh (2-38) and seamer Paul (2-48) ended with two wickets apiece.
For the Windies, the defeat left them trailing in the three-match series, needing to win the remaining matches in order to clinch their first-ever ODI series win on Sri Lankan soil.
Hope had earlier taken the spotlight for the Caribbean side, stroking 10 fours in his first hundred against Sri Lanka and sixth on the subcontinent.
Given out leg before wicket to seamer Nuwan Pradeep off the second ball of the game before he had scored, Hope used the DRS reprieve to reach his half-century off 77 balls at the start of the 26th over, before raising triple figures in the 43rd over off 128 deliveries.
He lost opening partner Sunil Ambris cheaply for three in the fourth over, but then posted 77 for the second wicket with Bravo and a further 85 for the third wicket with Chase.
Bravo hit three fours and a couple of sixes off 52 balls before he was run out in the 20th over after being sent back by Hope over a quick single, while Chase punched three fours and a six in a breezy 45-ball knock before playing on to Pradeep in the 36th over.
Hope was eventually out in the 46th over, bowled by left-arm seamer Isuru Udana (3-82) as one of four wickets to tumble for 47 runs.