Sri Lanka take series with 26-run win
Sri Lanka 277 for 9 (Sangakkara 75, Benn 4-38) beat West Indies 251 (Darren Bravo 79, Mendis 4-46) by 26 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Sri Lanka displayed their bowling strength ahead of the 2011 World Cup when they rested three key bowlers and yet ended up beating West Indies by 26 runs in the third and final one-day international to take the series 2-0.
Muttiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara were missing from their line-up but their back-up bowling unit comprising Dilhara Fernando, Ajantha Mendis and Thisara Perera did extremely well to defend a total of 277 for 9 by bowling West Indies out for 251 in 49 overs.
West Indies got off to a bad start, losing openers Chris Gayle and Adrian Barath for ducks before recovering through a 125-run stand between Darren Bravo, who hit an attractive 79 of 91 balls with nine fours and one six, and Ramnaresh Sarwan, who scored 51 off 66 balls.
Once the partnership was broken, West Indies struggled to maintain the required run-rate despite contributions of 32 from Dwayne Bravo and 49 from Carlton Baugh. Sri Lanka's pace-cum-spin attack came back strongly to make frequent inroads into the batting, with Ajantha Mendis eventually wrapping the innings up with a spell of three wickets for nine runs off 10 balls during the batting Powerplay. He finished with figures of 4 for 46.
Sri Lanka, invited to bat first on the same pitch where the first two matches were played, reached 277 for 9 in their 50 overs, with all their top-order batsmen getting into form but none going on to make a three-figure score.
Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara's 75 off 105 balls was the top score with Mahela Jayawardene making the second highest score with 44. The pair added 95 for the third wicket off 114 balls, after openers Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan had given them a rollicking start by posting 54 off 50 balls.
Dilshan smashed two fours and a six in his 28-ball 30, before edging a catch behind the wicket attempting to cut a ball too close to his body. Tharanga, who scored a century in the second ODI, helped Sangakkara raise the total to 92 before inside-edging a ball from Sulieman Benn onto his stumps with his score on 30. Sangakkara was given a reprieve at 34 when he lofted Nikita Miller to deep midwicket where Barath made a lot of ground but spilled the catch and the ball crossed the boundary. The miss proved to be costly because Sangakkara took the attack to the bowlers and looked good for a century before he played all over a Benn delivery and was bowled.
Sri Lanka failed to make much headway in the batting Powerplay, which they took at 177-2 in the 37th over. They lost the two in-form batsmen: Jayawardene for 44 top-edging a pull and Sangakkara.
The departure of the top four batsmen at 205 saw the Sri Lanka run-rate slump. The brittle middle order failed to capitalise on the platform laid by the early batsmen as Sri Lanka lost five wickets for 39 runs. Thilana Samaraweera, Chamara Kapugedera and Perera all went cheaply as Benn worked himself towards his best ODI bowling figures, finishing with four wickets for 38.
The innings was given late momentum by Angelo Mathews, who slammed a quick 36 not out off 22 balls to help Sri Lanka cross the 275-run mark.