World champions Sri Lanka win by 30 runs, Dilshan becomes highest T20I run-scorer
Sri Lanka continued their winning streak and defeated West Indies in the first Twenty20 international by 30 runs at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. Sachithra Senanayake picked four wickets as the hosts took a 1-0 lead in the 2-match series.
SL XI: Kusal Perera (wk), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal, Chamara Kapugedera, Angelo Mathews, Milinda Siriwardana, Shehan Jayasuriya, Sachithra Senanayake, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga (c), Dushmantha Chameera
WI XI: Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher (wk), Marlon Samuels, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy (c), Jason Holder, Devendra Bishoo, Sunil Narine, Jerome Taylor
After winning the toss, West Indies captain Darren Sammy decided to field first in Pallekele. Kusal Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan opened for Sri Lanka.
Both the players continued from where they left off in one-day international series as they went on to score four boundaries in the first over itself.
Dilshan soon crossed another milestone and became the highest run-getter in T20I for Sri Lanka. The hosts were off to a flier, both the openers were unleashing power hits.
Kieron Pollard finally came to West Indies rescue when he got the much-needed breakthrough of Perera. The Sri Lankan misjudged the pace and gave away a simple catch to Darren Sammy. He was out for 40 and the hosts were 91 for 1 after 9.4 overs.
Dilshan reached his fifty but soon got out on another Pollard's special ball. He made 56 off 37 balls. Shehan Jayasuriya and Dinesh Chandimal didn't let the two wickets affect the Sri Lankan run pace.
They kept smashing the loose deliveries and brought the hosts back in the game. Jayasuriya departed after scoring good 36 off 22 balls. Angelo Mathews joined Chandimal in the middle.
Chandimal and Mathews both scored runs with a strike-rate more than 200. Especially Mathews, who went on to hit four huge sixes in his innings of 37 runs to end the Sri Lankan innings on 215 runs.
Pollard got the important wickets but was expensive. Narine was the pick of the bowlers as he gave away just 20 runs in his 4 overs quota. Not a single Windies bowler economy was below 10 beside Narine.
West Indies suffered an early blow as opener Johnson Charles was sent back by a toe-crusher from skipper Lasith Malinga. Even the in-form Marlon Samuels failed to deliver as he got out cheaply after scoring 10 runs. Sachithra Senanayake was the bowler and West Indies were 29/2 after 4.2 overs.
The two Andres - Fletcher and Russell looked set and were playing their big hits. Both charged against the debutant Dushmantha Chameera and smashed three sixes in his very first over.
Fletcher reached his 4th T20I fifty off just 22 balls and the visitors were looking serious now in the mammoth chase. Chameera didn't lose his confidence and came back to get Fletcher's wicket. Fletcher was bowled after scoring 57 runs. West Indies were 86/4 after 8.1 overs.
Dwayne Bravo and Pollard put up a half-century stand, but both departed after that in quick succession. The Sri Lankan bowlers didn't give a chance to any West Indies batsmen after that as the visitors were bowled out for 185 runs.
The right arm off break bowler Senanayake got the important wickets of Samuels, Bravo, Sammy and Holder. His four crucial breaks changed the course of the match and turned it into the hosts night.
Sri Lanka 215/3 (20/20overs)
West Indies 185 (19.5/20overs)
Sri Lanka won by 30 runs
Man-of-the-Match: Sachithra Senanayake