West Indies vs Sri Lanka 2021, 1st ODI: West Indies Claim Easy Series-Leading Victory After Shai Hope's Century
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West Indies vs Sri Lanka 2021, 1st ODI: West Indies Claim Easy Series-Leading Victory After Shai Hope’s Century

West Indies
Image Credit: Twitter

West Indies have taken the 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series after thrashing the tourists Sri Lanka by 8 wickets in the opening match of this series. With this victory, the Caribbean side has opened their points table account in the 2020–23 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League.

Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne chose to bat first after winning the toss. While Sri Lanka were all out on 232 runs in 49 overs, West Indies chased down that target in 47 overs after losing only their opening batsmen.

West Indies vs Sri Lanka 2021, 1st ODI

2nd innings (West Indies): Shai Hope 110; Evin Lewis 65

West Indies openers Evin Lewis and Shai Hope provided a stronger start than Sri Lankan openers in that game. They set up the 143 runs partnership for the opening wicket as their chasing became easier. While Hope reached his fifty in 47 balls, Lewis completed his half-century in 75 balls. After scoring 65 runs off 90 balls (4 fours and 2 sixes), Lewis was bowled by Dushmantha Chameera, but Hope continued his superb batting.

Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, West Indies, Sri Lanka, 1st ODI
Shai Hope and Evin Lewis (Image Credit: Twitter)

Hope and Darren Bravo added another 72 runs partnership for the second wicket. Hope completed his 10th ODI century in 125 balls and scored 110 off 133 balls (12 fours and only six) before Chameera took his wicket while the Caribbean team was just 18 runs away from the victory. Bravo was not out on 37 off 47 balls (2 fours and only six) while Jason Mohammed scored 13 not out off 15 balls (2 fours) as West Indies chased down the target with 18 balls remaining.

Shai Hope, West Indies, Sri Lanka, 1st ODI
Shai Hope scored his 10th ODI century (Image Credit: Twitter)

1st innings (Sri Lanka): Openers’ century partnership went in vain

Openers Danushka Gunathilaka and captain Dimuth Karunaratne provided a very strong start with the century partnership. In the first powerplay, Sri Lanka scored 57/0. Then they set up the opening partnership of 105 runs. In the 19th over, both the openers completed their fifties. While scored 50 off 55 balls, Karunaratne reached his half-century in 58 balls.

But in the very next over, West Indies captain Kieron Pollard provided a breakthrough with his brilliant caught and bowled as captain Karunaratne lost his wicket after scoring 52 off 61 balls (4 fours). Inside the next two overs, Gunathilaka was dismissed due to obstructing the field as it created big chaos in the game.

West Indies, Sri Lanka, 1st ODI
Danushka Gunathilaka’s obstructing the field moment (Image Credit: Twitter)

After playing the ball, while the non-striker-end batsman Pathum Nissanka went for a single, Gunathilaka reacted on that very slowly and then decided to not take a single. But as both these batsmen were outside of their crease, Pollard tried to grab that ball quickly which Gunathilaka first guarded and then his feet touched that ball during his return to move it away from Pollard while the Caribbean skipper was not happy and appealed for that. Gunathilaka’s actions might be completely unintentionally, but the umpires were completely unsatisfied and decided that it was obstructing the field. The Sri Lankan opener scored 55 off 61 balls (7 fours).

Since then, Sri Lankan batting completely collapsed. In the end moment of that innings, ODI debutant Ashen Bandara scored a fifty by scoring 50 off 60 balls (4 fours), but it was their only other 20+ knock in that innings. Only Dinesh Chandimal and Lakshan Sandakan were the other batsmen to reach the double-digit scores. While they were once batting on 105/0, they lost all their 10 wickets in 127 runs.

Among the West Indies bowlers, Jason Mohammed (2/12) and Jason Holder (2/39) both got two wickets each. Their other bowlers were also very disciplined in that innings, especially in the second half of that innings.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka – 232 in 49 overs (Danushka Gunathilaka 55, Dimuth Karunaratne 52; Jason Mohammed 2/12)

West Indies – 236/2 in 47 overs (Shai Hope 110, Evin Lewis 65; Dushmantha Chameera 2/50)

Result – West Indies won by 8 wickets