2nd T20 International - Sri Lanka Vs West Indies - Antigua
Sri Lanka ended their eight-match losing streak in T20 internationals with an emphatic 43-run win against West Indies in Antigua to level the three-match series yesterday.
The Sri Lankan spinners bamboozled world T20 champions West Indies to bounce back after being thrashed in their opening match of the tour on Thursday.
Having lost by four wickets in a game where West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard hammered six sixes in an over, the tourists successfully defended 160 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.
West Indies were all out for 117 in the 19th over with leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga claiming 3 for 17.
Off-break bowler Akila Dananjaya had an impressive return of 1 for 13 in stark contrast to his figures of 3 for 62, when he bore the brunt of Pollard’s assault after getting a hat-trick in his previous over.
Wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan, one of the stars of the inaugural Lanka Premier League tournament , took 3 for 10, including Pollard who made just 13.
Such was the control that Sri Lanka's spinners exerted on a sluggish surface, where even part-time off-spinner Danushka Gunathilaka got in on the act, picking up the wicket of Jason Holder.
"The wicket was a bit slow. I tried not to give away any boundaries. That's why I was able to bowl well," man-of-the-match Hasaranga said at the post-match presentation.
West Indies were 45-1 before their innings imploded as five wickets fell for just 21 runs.
Dananjaya drew first blood castling opener Evin Lewis for six with an arm ball as the left-hander attempted to sweep him.
Chris Gayle, who was out for a first ball duck in his first appearance in two years, made a patchy 16 before Ashen Bandara latched onto a catch running in from deep mid wicket off Hasaranga’s first delivery.
Opener Lendl Simmons (21) was next out, lbw failing to pick a Hasaranga googly.
Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder and Dwayne Bravo all followed quickly for single figure scores.
Hasaranga added Fabian Allan to his list of victims with the West Indies then struggling on 89-7 in the 16th over.
With more than 22 an over required, Sandakan then removed Pollard, caught in the deep after he surprisingly opted to bat at number seven.
Sandakan then ended Obed McCoy's late cameo of 23 from seven deliveries with the tail-ender proving to be his team's top scorer.
Earlier, veteran all-rounder Bravo slammed the brakes on Sri Lanka with two wickets and a run-out.
Sri Lanka got off to a flying start after winning the toss and deciding to bat with openers Danushka Gunathilaka and Pathum Nissanka putting on a blistering 94 off the first 10 overs.
But then 37-year-old Bravo sprung into action to run out Nissanka for 37 with a direct hit.
Gunathilaka followed just four balls later in the 11th over, caught by Kevin Sinclair at mid-off when he was deceived by a slower one from Bravo.
The Sri Lankan opener stroked a fluent 56 off 42 balls which contained four boundaries and two sixes.
Bravo also claimed the third wicket to fall when Simmons pocketed a top edge from the experienced Dinesh Chandimal for just three.
The runs then dried up for Sri Lanka as they managed just three fours and one six in the second half of the innings after having hit eight fours and three sixes in the first 10 overs.
That included an eight-over stretch where the ball never crossed the boundary ropes.
It was only a late 11-ball 19 not out from Hasaranga that saw Sri Lanka post 160 for six.
The final match is at the same venue on Monday.