The once mighty West Indian cricket squad have been in the doldrums for some time and were at the bottom of the table going into their final match in the competition among the second tier teams being held in ZIMBABWE for placement in the 50-over World Cup — with only two teams securing such coveted spots. The Windies faced the leading squad, namely, Sri Lanka, in this match.
Sri Lanka were already ensconced at the top of the table and had little discomfort in beating the Windies — even though they rested two key players (Dhananjaya and Hasaranga). Maheesh Theekshana led the way with three early wickets to restrict the West Indians to 243 runs in their 50 overs. Pathum Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne then indulged in an opening stand of 190 runs to build the foundation for a victory in 44.2 overs.
Theekshana was selected “Man of the Match.”….. while ESPNcricinfo have not been able to fashion a report of this game as yet…. 1.16 am Aussie time on the Monday that is ahead of Zimbabwe’s Sunday.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh THE ESPN Report
A second straight ton by Pathum Nissanka and yet another four-for from Maheesh Theekshana headlined a dominant eight-wicket win over West Indies, as Sri Lanka completed a comfortable warm-up for Sunday’s final against Netherlands, in Harare.
Set a middling target of 244, Sri Lanka ran it down with little fuss, inclusive of a tournament-best opening stand of 190 between Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne – though both were handed lifelines by an abject West Indian performance in the field. While both would fall before the chase was completed, Nissanka for 104 and Karunaratne for 83, Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama closed the game out with 34 balls to spare.
For West Indies, the only bright spark was Keacy Carty, whose 96-ball 87 dragged his side to a fighting total, when at one point it seemed like they would become the ninth consecutive side to be skittled for less than 200 runs by Sri Lanka in this tournament.
This had not seemed the case when Johnson Charles was flying high during a brisk 36-run opening stand with Brandon King. With Dasun Shanaka opening the bowling alongside Dilshan Madushanka, Charles and King had found the Lankan captain’s gentle pace to their liking. But the early introduction of eventual Player of the Match Theekshana turned the game.
King was the first to go, his middle stump disturbed after he went too far across attempting to sweep. Shamarh Brooks then got a faint nick through to the keeper that was confirmed on review, while Shai Hope was trapped in front by one that skidded through off a good length to catch him sitting in his crease.
Charles was still going strong at this point, but then the sometimes wayward Matheesha Pathirana grabbed his only scalp, trapping him lbw with one that was quick, straight and kept a touch low from back of a length. Theekshana returned later to leave the West Indies reeling on 155 for 8 when he knocked back Romario Shepherd’s middle stump.
At that point, it seemed like West Indies would struggle to reach 40 overs, let alone the full 50, but Carty – aided by the fact he was dropped on 8 – strung together a series of lower-order stands to haul his side into the game, on a pitch that had few demons in it.
He first came to the crease at 62 for 4 with Nicholas Pooran already there, but the latter became legspinner Dushan Hemantha’s maiden ODI scalp, holing out at deep midwicket. Hemantha was playing for the rested Wanindu Hasaranga.
Carty then put on 41 with Kyle Mayers, before the latter was castled by Sahan Arachchige – yet another debutant, in for Dhananjaya de Silva. Roston Chase shortly after became Hemantha’s second scalp of the game, caught lbw by a ripping googly, before Carty stitched together another defiant stand – this time 32 with Shepherd.
Once Shepherd fell, the writing appeared to be on the wall, but Carty guided Kevin Sinclair and Akeal Hossein through stands of 63 and 25 respectively – the former the best of the innings – to lift the total to respectability.
The application shown by Carty throughout would serve as an example from an otherwise dire West Indian effort. This was no more apparent than in the field when several chances of varying difficulty were dropped – a recurring theme throughout this tournament – the most glaring of which was by captain Hope himself, who let through a skier, despite having the gloves on.
In a game that many might have assumed would have had far more significance when it was pencilled in at the start of the tournament, in the end only served to show the differing trajectories, not just of these two sides, but of West Indies and the Associates as well. When Sri Lanka turn up on Sunday to face the Dutch, they are likely to be in for a far sterner test.
Thuppahi's Blog · This web site presents the interventions of MICHAEL ROBERTS in the public realm with reference to Sri Lankan political affairs. It will embrace the politics of cricket as well. ROBERTS was educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle and the universities of Peradeniya and Oxford. He taught History at Peradeniya University and Anthropology at Adelaide university. He is now retired and lives in Adelaide.