Sri Lanka v West Indies, Super League February 22, 2004

Baker bowls West Indies to victory

Wisden Cricinfo staff

West Indies 200 for 7 (Ramdin 51) beat Sri Lanka 181 (Kulasekera 64, Baker 6-39) by 19 runs

Sri Lanka's top order let their side down to fall 19 runs short of a modest target set by West Indies in the Super League match at the Fatullah District Stadium.

Sri Lanka won the toss and put West Indies in. Accurate bowling restricted progress and it wasn't until the 29th over that they reached the 100 mark. Despite having wickets in hand, West Indies were unable to up the tempo in the closing overs, and finished on 200 for 7 after 50 overs. Captain Denesh Ramdin top-scored with 51.

Sri Lanka's top order have struggled for runs in this tournament - and today was no exception. The first four batsmen were back in the pavilion for 21 as fast bowler Lionel Baker's extra pace and bounce created chaos. Chamith Kulasekara and Suraj Mohammad rallied to take Sri Lanka to 164 for 7 with four overs remaining. But then Baker returned to dismiss Kulasekara for 64 and Mohammad for 37, to swing the match decisively back in West Indies' favour. Baker fittingly picked up the final wicket in the last over of the match to finish with figures of 6 for 39 as Sri Lanka were all out for 181.

Baker, the Man of the Match, was pleased to find his rhythm with the ball. "It's a great feeling to win today and it is good to start the Super League in good form," he said.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka's coach, the former Test legspinner DS de Silva, was critical of his side's batting display. "If we are going to succeed in this tournament, the top order batsmen must make runs together. At the moment our batting has been failing and today it cost us the match."