Cricket Article

Cricket World Cup 2019: Sri Lanka Win a High-Scoring Thriller Despite Pooran Sizzler

Cricket World Cup 2019: Sri Lanka Win a High-Scoring Thriller Despite Pooran Sizzler Photo: TT
Pooran's Ton Went in Vain

Sri Lanka beat the West Indies by 23 runs in a high scoring match at the 2019 World Cup.

The West Indies won the toss at Chester-le-Street and chose to bowl first in what was a dead rubber, with both sides unable to reach the semi-finals. Sri Lanka, aided by some slack bowling and poor fielding got off to a strong start, with Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera putting on 93 for the first wicket until Karunaratne was caught behind off Jason Holder. Perera then fell for 64, run out after an embarrassing mix-up with Avishka Fernando.

However, Fernando and Kusal Mendis then put on 85 for the third wicket, until their partnership was broken when Mendis was caught and bowled by Fabian Allen for 39. Angelo Mathews took his place in the middle and the former captain added 58 with Fernando, before he was bowled by Holder for 26. However, Fernando continued to lead the Sri Lanka attack, surpassing his highest ODI score before reaching his maiden century at this level. He put on 67 with Lahiru Thirimanne, before falling for 104, caught in the deep off Sheldon Cottrell. He had struck 2 sixes and 9 fours.

Isuru Udana fell to the bowling of Oshane Thomas late on, but there was still time for Thirimanne and Dhananjaya de Silva to add 9 off the last over, as Sri Lanka closed on 338 – 6, with Thirimanne, unbeaten on 45.

In reply, the West Indies got off to a very disappointing start. First, Sunil Ambris top-edged a bouncer from Lasith Malinga, and was caught behind, and he was soon followed back into the pavilion by Shai Hope, who got an inside edge to a delivery from the same bowler. Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer shared a stand of 49, but Gayle, having hit 2 sixes, fell for 35, caught by Jeffrey Vandersay off the bowling of Kasun Rajitha. Two overs later, Hetmyer was run out for 29, and the West Indies were reduced to 84 – 4.

At that point the West Indies cause seemed lost, but Nicholas Pooran and Jason Holder put on 61 for the fifth wicket, and, when Holder fell to 26 off the bowling of Vandersay, Pooran and Carlos Brathwaite shared a stand of 54, although Braithwaite only scored 8 of them before he was run out.

Then Fabian Allen joined Pooran at the crease, and the pair shared a partnership that, at one point suggested a famous win might be on the cards. Pooran scored his first OD century, whilst Allen provided valuable support until he was run out for 51. Pooran, who had 4 sixes and 11 fours, was the caught behind off Angelo Mathews for 118, effectively ending the contest. The tail-enders added seven more for the loss of Oshane Thomas lbw to Malinga, but, in the end the West Indies could only manage 315- 9 from their 50 overs.

Rajeev mcallister
Rajeev McAllister
Sports Pundit staff writer

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