Sri Lanka v West Indies, 1st ODI, Colombo November 1, 2015

Narine, Mendis and a dash of mystery

Plays of the day from the first ODI between Sri Lanka and West Indies in Colombo

Ajantha Mendis' heroics with the bat helped Sri Lanka clinch a thriller © Associated Press

The no ball-drop
When Ajantha Mendis hoicked Johnson Charles' length ball toward deep midwicket, with Sri Lanka nine down, West Indies thought they had the chance to win the game. Jerome Taylor ran forward from that position and dived to get both hands to the ball, but let it bounce out of his palms. In the end, two West Indies errors on this delivery led to their defeat next ball. Charles had overstepped, and conceded a front-foot no-ball. Had this been a legitimate delivery, Mendis might not have aimed a six off the next ball, which became a free hit. Had Taylor caught the ball cleanly at deep midwicket, Sri Lanka might not have run two, and Suranga Lakmal would have been on strike for that next delivery.

The double-strike
Jason Holder was forced to go to his part-time bowlers after an injury to Andre Russell left West Indies short of front-liners. In the 24th over, Jonathan Carter's medium-pace revived West Indies' hopes of victory, after the Mendis-Sachithra Senanayake partnership seemed to be taking it away from them. Carter first snuck his third-ball between Senanayake's bat and pad to break that stand, and then left his team on the brink of victory by nailing Lasith Malinga in front of the stumps next ball. Lakmal would survive the last two balls of that over, however, allowing the hosts to hang on.

The carbon copy
Danushka Gunathilaka and Shehan Jayasuriya received their ODI caps on Sunday, and they departed within four balls of each other, in almost identical fashion. Not picking Sunil Narine's offbreaks, both batsmen saw the ball pitch on leg stump and played for the straighter one. Narine spun it past both men's outside edge and clipped off stump on his way to a triple-wicket over.

The yorker
Angelo Mathews has been reluctant to bowl over the past few weeks, owing to an ankle complaint. But upon seeing Andre Russell begin to take the match away from Sri Lanka, he took it upon himself to stop Russell's advance. Bringing himself on in the 22nd over, Mathews deployed a long-off and long-on, and looked for the yorker-length that had been eluding his team-mates. He didn't quite hit the blockhole, but when Russell attempted to slam him over long-off second ball, he found the ball was too full to achieve enough elevation and was caught comfortably in the deep.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

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