Sri Lanka v West Indies, World T20 2016, Group 1, Bangalore March 20, 2016

Badree, Fletcher steamroll Sri Lanka


West Indies 127 for 3 (Fletcher 84*, Siriwardana 2-33) beat Sri Lanka 122 for 9 (Thisara 40, Badree 3-12) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Jayawardene: Controlled West Indies deserved win

Samuel Badree sticks out in this West Indies team. He has a neat little side parting. He does not have rippling muscles. He celebrates a wicket almost out of courtesy. And all of his wickets tonight in Bangalore came as a result of his inviting the batsmen to make a mistake. Sri Lanka rsvp-ed like crazy. Badree's 3 for 12 laid the foundation to a comfortable victory over the defending champions.

Much of Badree's success comes from his accuracy. So it was almost surprising to see him bowl one wide at the new batsman Lahiru Thirimanne, until Thirimanne sliced it straight to point. Chamara Kapugedera raced down the pitch too early and Badree had him stumped. Three balls later, Milinda Siriwardana nicked a googly to slip. Those were the wickets to his name. In the fifth over, Badree strung three dot balls on the trot to lead Dinesh Chandimal into running himself out.

Badree finished his spell in the 10th over and Sri Lanka were 49 for 5 with very little hope of recovery. They only barely avoided getting bowled out, and their 122 for 9 was expertly run down by a man playing his first T20I in three months - Andre Fletcher. He stepped in for an injured Chris Gayle to open the innings, struck an unbeaten 84 off 64 balls and was out in the middle when the winning run was scored.

West Indies may be tussling with their board, their Test team's reputation may be in the doldrums but the shortest format always brings the best out of them. Fletcher, for example, had a T20I average of 19 before today. But he had improved his reputation via the Caribbean Premier League. He was the second-highest run-scorer in the 2015 edition, behind only his mentor Gayle.

"Confidence on the field looks high," tweeted former West Indian captain Brian Lara as the current captain Darren Sammy broke into jigs while his men celebrated each wicket with gusto. The high-fives could have poked someone's eye out.

But Angelo Mathews' inexperienced team were at the opposite end of the spectrum. They were worried about far too many things, the reputation of a big-hitting West Indian line-up, for example.

Chandimal hit straight to cover and ran because he was off put by the 11 dots he consumed. Thirimanne was facing his first ball of spin and he committed to a loft without realising Badree had tossed it too far wide to be timed properly. Kapugedera was promoted to pinch hit and came back with 6 off 10 balls.

All that chaos was exploited by Badree, who read a set of nervous batsmen perfectly. Siriwardana was another Sri Lanka batsman itching to hit the ball, but Badree kept feeding him wrong 'uns that kept turning past the bat and after two hard-handed pokes that missed the ball, the third fell into the lap of the Gayle at first slip. Badree later dedicated his performance to his two daughters, who "I haven't seen for the better part of two months."

Thisara Perera would have hoped his 40 off 29 balls rescued Sri Lanka, but his fluency only went on to demonstrate how the rest of the line-up simply did not stand up when they needed to.

Most would have expected turning pitches in the subcontinent, but perhaps the format - Twenty20s - and the showpiece event of said format - may have tempted people into hoping for batting-friendly surfaces. The M Chinnaswamy crowd has seen many a batathon through eight seasons of the IPL, but on Sunday, they had to contend themselves to a low-scoring match on a pitch that gave the spinners a lot of assistance. Not quite to the levels of Nagpur, though. It was just enough to keep the contest even and exciting.

Jeffrey Vandersay, who arrived in the country only on the eve of the match, bowled a fine spell to finish with 1 for 11 off his four overs. For a 26-year old, he coped under the glare of the World T20 excellently and for a young wristspinner, his control was excellent. Rangana Herath was tidy and Siriwardana took his two wickets by deceiving Marlon Samuels and Denesh Ramdin in flight.

But as well as the spinners bowled, Sri Lanka had too little on the board and they hurt themselves with a couple of dropped chances. Opener Johnson Charles was given a life when Kapugedera failed to hold on to a dolly at deep midwicket and Andre Russell was shelled by Nuwan Kulasekara in the 18th over.

There were other things that went against Sri Lanka too. Their in-form batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan was adjudged lbw by umpire Johan Cloete when the ball seemed to be heading down leg. Siriwardana then fell on the wrong side of an lbw shout with umpire Aleem Dar. And the third umpire Simon Fry might well have let Fletcher off when he was on 71 after a catch behind the stumps was reviewed. The ball was dying on Chandimal even as he dived forward to try and get his gloves underneath. Multiple camera angles, lots of zooming in and several slow-motion replays only seemed to confuse the issue. The on-field call was out, but Fry overruled it.

Gayle, who strained his left hamstring while fielding, had been ready to come out to bat at that time, but he was kept to loitering around in his full gear as West Indies cantered to victory without him to further establish their standing as a T20 powerhouse.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shaun on March 23, 2016, 12:19 GMT

    Pukagedara and kirimanne have to bring water to others,atleast Mathews should help for them without taking captaincy, other available rest resources can do the job for Sri Lanka, Please Thisara don't try to be bowler sake of team,this not puksara to give 15 runs for every over,that's why world-class fast bowlers stay in bench like boult,southee,Nz already qualified semi,Thisara can be captain rest matchaes(shanaka ,dilshan,jayasuriya,siriwardena, Chandimal, Angelo,Thisara,Senanyke, herath,vandersy, chameera,boys hit the ball hard hirwenna Indians haterslage puke

  • Prince on March 23, 2016, 4:40 GMT

    I agree with Nickexplore, It is high time to use technology, most of the LBW decisions were wrong in the T20 WC so why not use technology for LBW decisions? Most of the results would have been changed if the UMPIRE haven't given WRONG DECISIONS, by giving wrong decisions the player the team and the supporters will feel bad and mentally down. TO THE CONCERN PARTIES!! ITS HIGH TIME TO LOOK INTO THIS ISSUE.

  •   Jakku BAI on March 22, 2016, 12:33 GMT

    Let's face it, rather than blaming the umpiring errors. Do we have a strong team, do we have match winning batsmen, do we have match winning bowlers ? No we don't. Have we done enough to replace the past players? Dilshan plays a good knock once in a while. Yes he got a bad one but is there any one stand up to the occasion?Are we one man army, it is a team game.Every one has to to put their hands up. Umpiring error happened in the past and it's going to repeat in the feature. When Gayle could not play Fletcher stepped up. When Dilshan failed someone must have stepped up. Reality is we have so many week links needs to address them. No point in telling the world that we are the record holders for highest T20 team score.

  • Robin on March 22, 2016, 11:52 GMT

    Despite being a Windies fan, i did feel bad for the Lankans. They got royally stitched up by the Dilshan decision and the body-language from the rest of team when batting, bowling and fielding suggested that today was going to be a bad day for them. Heads were down, with some of the dismissals being really soft and the straight-forward catches also being spilled. It is still early days in the tournament and the matches against England and South Africa will be crucial. Despite getting a few favours from the Umpires, the boyz put in a solid performance with Badree bowling excellently and Fletch playing with alot of freedom, stepping up to open, replacing the injured Gayle, which disappointed the RCB fans. The Windies depend heavily on confidence and momentum, so long as they play positively with a sense of unity and enjoying themselves, they will be a handful for anybody. Whether they can maintain that kind of consistency for potentially another four matches, remains to be seen.

  • astha on March 22, 2016, 11:33 GMT

    God please say to kulasekara to retire. srilanka selectors will be picking him despite his poor performance.

  • Dhawala on March 22, 2016, 10:54 GMT

    160 is enough to beat England and Srilanka will loss against South africa

  • Dhawala on March 22, 2016, 10:53 GMT

    Srilanka should open with dilly and siri then Chandi ,Kapu ,Ange ,thisara,Shehan. herath chameera vandersay and sachitra

  • Kapila on March 22, 2016, 6:02 GMT

    All the spectators know well about cricket than our selectors and Mathews. We should open some one who is very aggressive.Unfortunately we missed out Kusal and no one to fill the gap. Dhanushka Gunatilake has played extremely well against NZ and he is not playing the WC. What nonsense?

    I think Chandimal should bat no 3 and Sirwardana has to open with Dili.he is a good power hitter but struggling against spin. We have to ask Thirmane to bring water to our players while others need to be positive at least to win other remaining matches.

    With available resources Dil,Siriwardana,Chandi,Thisara perera,Mathews,Kapugedara, shehan,(Kula/Dasun),Rangana,Vandersy and Chammera.

    SL cricket play millions for selectors but they dont know anything . But our cricket loving spectators cricket knowledge is better than them.Cheers for our people.

  • Nick on March 22, 2016, 4:06 GMT

    One dreadful umpiring decision from a trigger-happy umpire cost Sri Lanka dearly. High time umpires be given the opportunity to review with the third umpire before giving spur of the moment decisions that ruin the match. In Dilshan's case, the ball was clearly going down leg and had the umpire been able to check upstairs he would have been quickly put right by technology. After Dilshan's unfortunate exit it was downhill for Sri Lanka. Thirimanne and Kapugedera way off the mark at 3 and 4, and changes must be wrung before the next match and Jayasuriya and Shanaka given a chance. Vandersay the one bright star on a dismal night for Sri Lanka. The new Aravinda-led selectors have put their faith in Lahiru Thirimanne a decision that has proved costly so far.

  • Shehan on March 22, 2016, 2:32 GMT

    This Sri Lankan team with a very fragile middle order couldn't withstand the consistent pressure applied by the umpires and Windies spinners. I don't understand why Kulasekera who drops catches every other match is playing anymore because he has lost his swing as a new ball bowler.

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