WI take ODI series
NORTH SOUND, Antigua (CMC):
Evin Lewis struck his second One-Day International hundred in three innings, while opening partner Shai Hope just missed out on a second straight century, but West Indies squandered an impregnable position, and were forced to scramble before securing a nervy five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in yesterday’s second ODI.
The home side appeared to be coasting to a comfortable win when Lewis struck 103 and Hope a typically polished 84, in a venue record 192-run stand at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium, in pursuit of 274.
However, seamers Thisara Perera (2-45) and Nuwan Pradeep (2-66) snatched two wickets apiece and dried up the scoring, as West Indies lost five wickets for 57 runs to suddenly find themselves requiring nine runs from the last over.
Left-hander Nicholas Pooran was kept scoreless by Pradeep off the first delivery but then clattered two consecutive off-side boundaries to level the scores and ease the pressure, before jogging a single off the fourth delivery to see West Indies to victory with two balls to spare.
“My thinking was clear. Jason (Holder) and I were calm. I was set and I knew [I needed] just one ball and once I hit a boundary it was all over,” said Pooran, who ended unbeaten on 35 off 38 deliveries to secure West Indies a 2-0 lead in the three-match series, which ends tomorrow.
“Evin and Shai batted really, really good but it goes to show no matter where the game reach … the game is never won until the last ball is bowled.”
Captain Kieron Pollard was quick to shrug off the late innings drama and embrace the series win.
“You can say [it was too close for comfort] but at the end of the day, we’ll take the win. I thought the guys batted well.”
Sent in earlier, Sri Lanka garnered 273 for eight off their 50 overs with in-form opener Danushka Gunathilaka falling agonisingly short of three figures with a run-a-ball 96 and veteran Dinesh Chandimal getting 71 off 98 deliveries.
Part-time off-spinner Jason Mohammed finished with three for 48 including the wicket of Gunathilaka while fast bowler Alzarri Joseph claimed two for 42 in an excellent 10-over spell.