Sri Lanka A triumph in series opener
Sri Lanka A 250 for 7 (Arnold 82, Lokuarachichi 47) beat West Indies A 230 (Joseph 86, Perera 4-38) by 20 runs
Sylvester Joseph's half-century was not enough to save West Indies A from sliding to a 20-run defeat to Sri Lanka A in the opening one-dayer of the five-match serie, at St Kitts yesterday. Captain Joseph struck 86 but his side collapsed to 230 in 47.4 overs, in response to Sri Lanka's 250 for 7.
Joseph faced 120 balls, struck eight fours and one six but was the only batsman to carry on after getting a start. Austin Richards Jnr struck 32 from 49 balls while Ryan Hinds chipped in with 31. Patrick Browne got a cameo 26 from 13 balls at the death but lacked support as the Sri Lankans seized the initiative.
The West Indians started poorly in their run chase, losing in-form opener Devon Smith for one and Travis Dowlin for two, both to pacer Ruchira Perera. Joseph and Richards then added 58 for the third wicket to steady the innings before Richards was caught at the wicket off fast bowler Ishara Amarasinghe.
Hinds joined Joseph to add a further 78 for the fourth wicket, a partnership that put the West Indians on course for victory. But Hinds, attempting to sweep legspinner Malinga Bandara, was caught at midwicket and Narsingh Deonarine, after having scored 21, was run out, leaving them in trouble at 195 for 5. His dismissal triggered a slide, with two further wickets - Omari Banks and Joseph - falling for no further addition of runs.
It left the lower-order with too much to do and though Browne belted two fours and two sixes, the West Indians fell short. Perera finished with 4 for 38 while Amarasinghe claimed 3 for 33.
Earlier, the Sri Lankans were lifted by an unbeaten 82 from Russell Arnold as they reached their eventual total after being asked to bat. Kaushal Lokuarachchi slammed 47 while Avishka Gunawardene weighed in with 38 from 36 balls. Gunawardene and Mahela Udawatte, who scored 26, posted 51 for the first wicket to give Sri Lanka a healthy start.
Fast bowler Gavin Tonge was the best bowler with 3 for 46 while Ravi Rampaul finished with 2 for 35.