West Indies v Sri Lanka, tri-series, Port-of-Spain July 8, 2013

Sangakkara, bowlers beat profligate WI


Sri Lanka 219 for 8 (Sangakkara 90*, Roach 4-27) beat West Indies 190 for 9 (Darren Bravo 70, Simmons 67, Mathews 4-29) by 39 runs (D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Sri Lanka's batsmen, led by Kumar Sangakkara, battled rain interruptions that stretched their innings of 41 overs over two days. Their bowlers seemed to have the match under control when they ran in to a red-hot Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo. That was when rain decided to even things out. A drizzle started, West Indies panicked, went for the D/L par score and lost Simmons. The drizzle stopped, the clouds disappeared and all life drained out of the West Indies chase as Sri Lanka slowed the game down.

The chase had seemed to have already lost steam at 31 for 4 when West Indies' batsmen carried on from where their bowlers had left, showing the same lack of discipline. Simmons , playing his first ODI since December, then took 16 deliveries to get off the mark, struggling against the offspin of Sachithra Senanayake. Even as the asking-rate galloped, though, the momentum suddenly shifted. Out of nowhere, Simmons began to smoke sixes and fours on the up. With Bravo starting to attack as well, West Indies were scoring at ten an over now.

They were still slightly behind on the par score, though, and the drizzle and the dark skies made Simmons go after every ball. You could not blame Simmons for worrying about rain in an ODI that had stretched to two days because of it. With three balls left in the 32nd over and West Indies 14 runs behind, Simmons hit successive fours before an attempt to clear the field ended in deep point's hands.

Kieron Pollard walked into rain for the second time in less than a month. This time, he lasted just four balls, edging Lasith Malinga behind to register his third duck of the series in four innings. Darren Sammy was the final hope for West Indies but it was not easy to come in and start hitting on this pitch, even though it had eased out from the at times unplayable brute it was on day one. Sammy and Bravo holed out in successive overs but the last-wicket pair of Kemar Roach and Tino Best - which had taken West Indies to a tense victory over India in Jamaica - held their nerve again to deny Sri Lanka the bonus point that would have carried the visitors into the final.

If only the West Indies top order had shown similar application. Instead, Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles and Marlon Samuels went after shortish deliveries early in their innings and paid the price. Sri Lanka's bowlers got more out of the pitch than the home attack, some extra swing, seam and bounce making strokeplay difficult with the new balls.

Patience was not something the West Indies top order was willing to show, despite knowing that Sri Lanka had been rendered a bowler short early in the chase. Nuwan Kulasekara's spell lasted 11 deliveries when a Gayle push hit a finger on his left hand. A bleeding Kulasekara left the field. Two overs later, Gayle followed him. In the next over, Charles and Samuels followed.

Patience was something Kumar Sangakkara had in plenty on day one, and on the reserve day, he capitalised on some wayward bowling to carry Sri Lanka to a challenging total. The pitch, bouncy and uneven on day one, eased out despite overnight and morning rain. Sangakkara prospered as Sri Lanka took 105 off the last ten overs. Sangakkara's innings showed the way to deal with changing conditions. West Indies' bowling, barring Sammy and Roach, was exactly the opposite.

Having seen that the surface lacked the bite it had a day ago, they bowled short and wide to be taken apart at the death. Sangakkara was in a positive mood right from the start. He hadn't hit a boundary in 33 deliveries on day one; the morning after, he was moving across in his crease, he was walking down the pitch, disturbing lengths and dispatching width.

Angelo Mathews' quick 30 gave the innings more momentum. Roach appeared to have brought West Indies back when he dismissed Mathews and Jeevan Mendis in the 35th over, but Sangakkara hit harder now, and West Indies wilted. Jason Holder, who had looked so threatening with his bounce a day ago, lost his line. The wayward Best, who had found little semblance of line, length or rhythm on both days, served up short ball after short ball, and was punished. West Indies' wide count was as much as 24 in 41 overs, Tino Best responsible for more than half of those runs.

It didn't help that they had a part-time wicketkeeper, Charles, in the firing line of Best's misdirected missiles. Thrice, Charles let a wide delivery fly to the boundary when a better keeper might have stopped it. The extra batsman in Simmons gave West Indies a chance, but would he have needed to take so much risk in the absence of all those extras?

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Johanan on July 11, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    Anushman SL, These Yrs Ind is very lucky.they come from nowhere to win a match/With the Toss/with the rain/a runout etc.Any team shud b carefull with Jadeja.he is a under rated alrounder and game changer.Take IPL matches.hw many games he changed with the Bat/ball/A runout.Then vs SA In ICC.SL Were strong in atleast their bowling earlier.recently it has become ordinary with maling failing to get wkts at the top/in the middle.once in 7-8 matches he'll bowl a deadly spell.but those140+Km Toe crushers are lost.he is just bowling at 132Km.WI were smashing him.did he bowl a spot on yorker vs WI?? no.play a IPL Match now.it'll come.gng2miss kula badly.Lakmal& Kusal mite replace Lokuhetige&Mendis today bt i dnt think Kusal is capable to adjust & Play.Need a good start or SL cnt.WI Shud drop Polard,Best,devon & gv Powell,dwayne a chance.dnt bring Ramdin plsCap Samy.nw Ind perform at all levels.Saw MS practicing& mite play finals.SL playing with7.4guys are just filling numbrs.Bring Prasad,Tisara

  • Johanan on July 11, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    Johanan <78 answer for mr.Harmony111- SL hav won2ODIs on the trot in the ICC Cup Vs aus & Eng.It happens for any team.Even Ind might start to loose badly in future or when MS Retires.Dnt forget that SL dominated Ind in ODIs since 1996 to early 2000.Under Arjuna SL have got 225 on RPS Flat tracks & defended it well many times with the greats of Dravid,Sachin,Azhar,Jadeja,Ganguly failing.As Kohli Like SL to get 50s100s often,Sanath also liked Ind2score runs. @ the same time,SL is poor in Tests in IND,unable to win a single Test.as a SL fan i wish SL to win a Test in Ind.when it comes to replacemnts,SL strugling to find gud 1s.I dont know,what will happen if Sanga/Mahela Injured nw.with Candimal,Thiri failing often and being slow at the start and getting out and dosent have the power to hit 6s.its a shame.Lakmal is flying to WI 4 Kula.I dnt knw Y Tisara was not taken being the only hitter.he shud play always.c Ind replacments,They hv gambir,Rahane,Tiwary,Pathans etc.SL??Gud Luck SL today

  • dummy4fb on July 10, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    The selectors was wake up and stop playing the politics game. After all, pollard has been failing miserably, yet still he is given the captaincy in the absence of incompetent Bravo. There are many other batsmen wit better batting technique than the overrated pollard. Its time we play our batsmen on form and not on name.

  • cricketdebator on July 9, 2013, 19:32 GMT

    The performance of the West Indies team could be summarizes in one word....... MEDIOCRE.

  • dummy4fb on July 9, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    Really cant understand why WI still persists with Pollard. The man has nothing with either bat or ball, but it seems he is well liked for some reason. The manis captain in the absence of Bravo when Sammy is there. If they had Narine in for Best, Charles back at the top, Ramdin and pretty much anybody else except Pollard they would have won.But now it seems when you are out of favor you are just out like Chiv for ODIs and when you are favored your favoured like Pollard but to what end though? We have to pick our best team possible and i'm sorry Pollard has no place in a Test or ODI team.

  • Rally_Windies on July 9, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    Well Devon smith and Pollard could be easily replaced by Rhamdin as a batsman .....

    or do you play Pollard through 3 ducks ? Smith is on 2 ducks ?

    right now either one of them could make way for a Keeper ...

  • dummy4fb on July 9, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    The Selection of Devon Smith is a mystery. He seems to be a good team-man with a good work-ethic, but i can't recall the last meaningful contribution that he's made for the Windies, he hasn't addressed his weakness to off-spin. It hurts me to say that because i do like Smith, but i'm simply being honest in my observation. He's had his time and there must be another young batsman in the Caribbean that can be given a opportunity in the Senior Squad. I like progression of youngsters Johnson Charles and Keoron Powell.

    Same old story with the match against the Lankans, started badly, built a recovery, then panicked once Duckworth/Lewis got involved. Our lack in application, discipline and temperament to adjust to the match-situation exposed us once again. We're capable when we play on instinct, but all that seems to go out the window once we have to re-think our gameplan. Can't really blame the players, that's the job of the Manager, Coach and Captain to communicate to the team.

  • mark2011 on July 9, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    Thirimanna is not required to play if SAngakkara is there, what Thiri did yestrday wasted bowls and got out...Sanga though slow in start , later he catches up.. ubut Thirimann??? he is a test player.. pls dont put him for today match give Kusal a chance. Chnadimal needs to play his role.. otherwise drop him and give some other yooungersters a chance....

  • mark2011 on July 9, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    This WI team is immensly talented, unfortunately they lack patient and application. for that take Best, such a fast bowler who waste most of his overs more often than not. WI is the team that has very easy six hitters almost upto no11, look at yesterday how they build the inning after 31-4 and run rate was almost 10 when simmons started hitting.. they constantly hit 6 or 4 from 34 ovr onwards with PP overs...that's real power hitting.. nice to someone like Simmons coming up, he is going to b a crucial man in WI team. Also what a lovely batsman is Darren Bravo..some reminiscent to Lara...as Sri Lankan I like to see WI becoming a strong force in cricker like in past.. all the best for WI to reach final....

  • dummy4fb on July 9, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    It's almost WI's game but the small interruption of rain played the trick. WI was in very good position to win the game with Simmons and Bravo hanging around and building a wonderful partnership. But they both lost the context of the game when it started drizzling. Simmons & Pollard fell in the effort of chasing the D/L on-par target where WI were 10 to 15 runs short when it started drizzling. Adding to their bad luck the showers didn't get heavy and stopped. Else this would have been definitely WI's game despite of the brilliant knock by Sanga followed by an awesome show by SL bowlers in the first 20 overs. Feeling pity for WI's here.