The two sides played out a thriller in the opening match of the series, but Wanindu Hasaranga played the vital knock for Sri Lanka to guide them to a one-wicket win. The West Indies played well enough in the contest but lacked a clinical edge when they needed it the most.Shai Hope continued his excellent ODI record by scoring the ninth century of his career. His innings allowed the visitors to post a competitive score of 289/7 from their 50 overs after being aided from late hitting by Keemo Paul and Hayden Walsh.
Avishka Fernando and Dimuth Karunaratne led the response for the Lions. Both players scored half-centuries at the top of the order, while Kusal Perera added 42. However, once they were dismissed it appeared as though the home side would slip to a defeat amid quality bowling from Alzarri Joseph.
Hasaranga handled the pressure to deliver the victory for his team. He struck four boundaries and a six to take them over the line with five balls to spare. Sri Lanka are now in position to secure the series in Hambantota.
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Sri Lanka are unlikely to change a winning team for the second match of the series. Their top order performed well without going on to make the substantial match-winning score. Fernando continued where he left off against the Windies at the World Cup with a fine fifty, while Karunaratne found his form in the middle after time away from the international scene.
The experience in the middle of the batting ranks failed to thrive, which forced Hasaranga into action. Kusal Mendis made only 20 and Angelo Mathews also struggled. Both players have proven quality and are not going to be dropped after one bad game, but there will be the expectation for them to improve.
Sri Lanka’s bowling attack looked a concern before the game and it remain an issue despite the victory. Isuru Udana took three wickets to lead the team, but he also conceded 82 runs from his 10 overs. Nuwan Pradeep bowled accurately to finish with figures of 1-42. Outside of the right-arm seamer there is not a lot of quality, which could leave them exposed in the second match.
Avishka Fernando to be Sri Lanka’s top batsman – 5.00 Dafabet
The West Indies will be furious that they were unable to close out the win. They seemingly had the game in hand after reducing the Lions to 262/8 in the 46th over. However, they were unable to hold their nerve as the usually reliable Sheldon Cottrell failed to keep the clamps on Hasaranga.
Joseph continued to enhance his reputation in the 50-over format with another impressive outing. He claimed three wickets to dismiss Fernando, Mathews and Thisara Perera. Kieron Pollard should throw the ball to his paceman in the key moments in the future as he has the prowess to change games. The rest of the attack were solid enough outside of Cottrell’s struggles at the death.
Hope was outstanding to score yet another century in the 50-over format. He boosted his average to 51.90, matching the greats of the game with his consistency and excellence at the crease. Hope had to play well as there was not a lot of support from the rest of the line-up.
The Windies missed the presence of Shimron Hetmyer and Evin Lewis. Roston Chase made a decent knock of 41 in the middle order, while Darren Bravo notched 39. However, more is required from the rest of the batting ranks to back up the efforts of Hope at the top.
Alzarri Joseph to be the West Indies’ top bowler – 4.00 Betway
The weather will be perfect in Hambantota on Wednesday. The forecast predicts it will be a sunny day throughout, with the temperature sitting at 32° for the afternoon. It will be a nice day to be in the field to soak up the sun, while the hardness of the pitch and the ground should allow for a high-scoring contest.
The Windies should have been able to close out the first match of the series. Sri Lanka were bailed out by a fine performance from Hasaranga at the death to deliver the victory. The home side were decent enough, but there are still concerns over the quality of their bowling ranks.
It was good enough to get by in Colombo, although the Windies’ middle order was not able to properly capitalise. Expect a stronger effort from the visitors in the second match with the bat and ball in clutch situations to send the series into a decider.
West Indies to beat Sri Lanka 2nd ODI – 2.25 Betway
Shai Hope is a class act in the West Indies’ batting line-up. He notched a brilliant century in the opener and is a model of consistency at the top of the order for the tourists. Expect him to thrive once more with another substantial innings.
Shai Hope to be West Indies’ top batsman – 3.60 Dafabet
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