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

'West Indies win with Chris Gayle to spare'

ESPNcricinfo staff

West Indies were playing in Bangalore, Chris Gayle's 'home' IPL ground, and their supporters were tuned in, including the West Indies Women's players, right after a win over Bangladesh.

They won fans over with their approach as well.

The toss was won by Darren Sammy, who put Sri Lanka in. Tillakaratne Dilshan hit a six off the second ball.

Dilshan got a start, and it seemed West Indies would have plenty to chase early on.

A poor leg-before decision, though, ended his innings on 12. Dilshan was disappointed, but had no DRS to call upon.

West Indies bowlers took charge after that, reducing Sri Lanka to 47 for 5.

Samuel Badree was done by the ninth over. His figures: 4-0-12-3.

Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera led a recovery with a run-a-ball stand of 44, before Mathews was dismissed in bizarre fashion.

There were some quick runs from Perera at the end, but it was a splendid performance from West Indies, restricting Sri Lanka to a below-par 122 for 9.

Andre Russell caused some excitement when he wore a white shoe along with a maroon one.

Gayle was off the field during Sri Lanka's innings because of a left hamstring twinge, and the West Indies team management suggested he would not bat unless required, something the fans at the Chinnaswamy Stadium would not have approved of.

Johnson Charles and Andre Fletcher walked out to bat, and promptly the crowd in Bangalore made their feelings known, with chants of 'We want Gayle!'

Charles survived a drop off legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay's second ball, but later chopped onto his stumps off the same bowler. West Indies would have wanted Marlon Samuels to anchor the chase in Gayle's absence, but he perished charging down the track to the left-arm spin of Milinda Siriwardana.

In between, there was praise for one of Sri Lanka's agile veterans.

The chants from the crowd appeared to have worked their magic when Gayle indicated from the dressing room that he was walking in to bat at the fall of the third wicket, only to be stopped by the fourth umpire Ian Gould. As per regulations, he still had to wait a few minutes before he could bat in West Indies' innings due to his time off the field in the first innings.

A simple explanation could have been provided to fans at the Chinnaswamy.

Many joked about hoping for West Indies to lose a wicket.

West Indies were playing an extra batsman in Fletcher, and he ably managed at the top of the order, powering the chase with a half-century studded with boundaries. But with 33 more to get, he nicked one behind off Dushmantha Chameera. The low catch was sent for a review, and as with replays in such cases, it looked dicey. His reprieve was even more painful for fans waiting to catch Gayle in action.

Apologies for the plug, but you can watch the video here.

Another opportunity for Gayle fans was missed by Sri Lanka's fielders.

Post match, Mathews admitted his team had been 'horrible' in the field.

Andre Russell hit the winning six, but it was Fletcher - the other Andre - who starred with 84 not out off 64 balls.

It was a Gayle-like performance, or should we say just short of being Gayle-like?

And it was a win that didn't need their biggest batting star.

Gayle came out after the win, waved to the fans and posed for photos. No runs in Bangalore for the night, but expect many more in the future.

The performances got praise from various quarters. A former international legspinner impressed by another upcoming one in Vandersay, who had figures of 4-1-11-1.

A fast bowler who rarely seemed to deviate from plans praised the West Indians' seam attack that was manned by three allrounders.

And a West Indian legend sent in his appreciation.

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  • Cricinfouser on March 22, 2016, 1:38 GMT

    I feel Chappell has a point. It was not that West Indies won but Lanka lost because of bad umpiring, bad fielding. Had it not been for those two key things Lanka would have won. So WI I am not so sure will make it. Two more matches with South Africa and Afghanistan and Afghans are sure going to make an upset in this tournament, came close to doing so against Lanka and South Africa. may be third time they will do so.

  •   Kenton Lewis Augustin on March 21, 2016, 5:18 GMT

    Analyze this Ian Chappell. Still think WI will not pass quarter finals? Still think they not in the top five to win this? Every time they win a game in this tournament I'm sure going to remind you and if they win it all I hope you issue an apology for writing the team off before a first ball was bowled in this tournament.

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