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The Report by Devashish Fuloria
July 7, 2013
Rain stops play; to be completed on Monday
Sri Lanka 60 for 3 (Thirimanne 13*, Sangakkara 11*, Roach 2-19) v West Indies
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Persistent rain in Port-of-Spain meant play was called off for the day after only 19 overs were bowled during Sri Lanka's innings. The match will continue from the current state on Monday.
West Indies, motivated by the appearance of the pitch, chose to field second time in a row, but unlike the previous match where they failed to make an early strike, this time, the bowlers found the right length on the pitch to topple Sri Lanka's top order while keeping their run-scoring in a leash. Kemar Roach was the wrecker-in-chief, bowling a menacing spell upfront and was it not for a long and patient vigil by Lahiru Thirimanne and Kumar Sangakkara, the situation could have been far worse for Sri Lanka.
While Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic were slugging it out like it was a hard court on the grass at Wimbledon, the pitch at Queen's Park Oval was offering bounce and expected sideways movement to excite the fast bowlers. Roach's first ball was certainly an indication of what he thought of the pitch as he ambled in and got a shortish delivery to rear towards Upul Tharanga's throat. It was harshly called a wide, but it was the tonic West Indies needed after beefing up their attack with three fast bowlers in addition to Darren Sammy.
The tall Jason Holder, playing his third ODI, was handed the other new ball and he started by extracting disconcerting bounce off a length, with some deliveries ending up head-high for the wicketkeeper. But he did the smart thing by repeatedly testing batsmen with fuller-length outswingers.
It was another full-length delivery that brought him his first wicket as Tharanga, who had been dropped by the wicketkeeper in the previous over, drove him uppishly to cover where Darren Bravo took a good sharp catch leaping to his right. Sri Lanka's troubles were compounded when they lost Mahela Jayawardene off the very next ball, a brute by Roach. It is seldom that Jayawardene looks ungainly even while getting out, but he was too late on a sharp bouncer and top-edged his pull to the front lid of his helmet and saw the ball popping in the air for the point fielder to take a simple catch.
Roach's best delivery was however the one that got Dinesh Chandimal, who hasn't been in any form, but even if he was, it is hard to see how he would have tackled it. The ball pitched on a length and cut in sharply to hit the top of off stump. Chandimal, who had gone forward to play a drive, was holding his pose, but the result left him shocked and embarrassed.
Sri Lanka limped to 50 for 3 after first 15 overs, with the 17 extras being the top-scorer in the scorecard. The rains came at the end of the 19th over to break West Indies' rhythm, while in a sunny London, Murray finally ended Britain's achingly long wait for a Wimbledon winner with a straight-set victory against the World No. 1.
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