U19 WC: West Indies outwit Sri Lanka in nail-biter

Kimberley, (UNI) West Indies beat Sri Lanka by three wickets here on Tuesday.

Vishen Halambage fell early to an attacking shot in the very first over, but Pulindu Perera and Sineth Jayawardena went ahead close to run a ball.

However, the Sri Lanka captain Sineth fell early yet again when he tried to lob Nathan Edward over the mid-wicket region for a six but was grasped by Raneico Smith.

The in-form Dinura Kalupahana joined Supun Waduge at the wicket. Erratic work by West Indies bowlers helped Sri Lanka add quick runs.

Waduge took the lead in run-scoring and helped Sri Lanka close in on 100. But the batsman fell to an unfortunate dismissal in the 19th over when Kalupahana hit one straight back to Nathan Sealy, and the bowler managed to get a hand on the ball before it crashed into the stumps.

Waduge was out of the crease and hence ruled run out. Sharujan Shanmuganathan and Kalupahana came together to hold the fort till the mid-innings mark.

Raneico struck with the ball in the final over of the Powerplay to remove the set Pulindu, and West Indies were in charge.

Sri Lanka lost two more soon after.

Tarrique Edward had Shanmuganathan caught at the first slip in the 26th over, and Ravishan de Silva hit a full toss straight back to Raneico in the 31st over.

Kalupahana yet again became the anchor of Sri Lanka’s effort. Along with Malsha Tharupathi, he put together an important late wicket stand. He brought up his third fifty of the tournament during the stand.

Kalupahana, however, could not keep going till the end and fell while trying to cut Sealy. Tharupathi, however, continued fighting for the Lankans. Dispatching the loose deliveries on offer, he scored at a brisk pace and helped Sri Lanka close in on 200. His 42 from 38 helped Sri Lanka finish at 231.

West Indies skipper Stephan Pascal put their foot on the pedal in the modest chase. Hitting five fours and a six in his 26-ball 33, he helped his side go at six an over during his stay.

An ambitious attempt to waft the ball through the covers brought his demise against Kalupahana. Vishwa Lahiru struck with his left-arm spin in the 12th over to get the second West Indies wicket.

Steve Wedderburn and Jordan Johnson took control of the innings thereafter and put West Indies in a strong position. Till the mid-innings mark, the duo had added 80 at run a ball. Wedderburn had added 40, while Johnson contributed with 38 runs.

Sri Lanka struck back by getting both Wedderburn and Johnson in a space of nine balls. Nathan Edward and Mavendra Dindyal then adopted the conservative approach, helping keep the wickets column intact.

However, Dindyal’s fall to Jayawardena changed the complexion of the chase. Disciplined bowling squeezed out run-scoring opportunities.

Sri Lanka kept fighting to the very last, picking crucial breakthroughs of Edward and Jewel Andrew in the last Powerplay. However, it was Sealy who helped West Indies close in with a fighting cameo.

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