Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Windies beat Sri Lanka

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BIRMINGHAM – West Indies defeated Sri Lanka by 17 runs in a warm-up match yesterday to sign off their preparations for the ICC Champions Trophy.
West Indies bowlers struck at regular intervals to bowl out Sri Lanka for 280 runs at Edgbaston after the Caribbean side posted a total of 297 runs for the loss of six wickets.
Captain Dwayne Bravo led the bowling with a match-best three for 26 from his five overs after half-centuries from Johnson Charles, Darren Bravo and Ramnaresh Sarwan set up the West Indies total.
Sunil Narine and Ravi Rampaul picked up two for 26 and two for 46 respectively.
Batting first, openers Chris Gayle and Charles took little time to get into action with an 87-run first-wicket partnership in just 12 overs. But a subdued Gayle, who scored 22, was outscored by Charles, who hit 58 runs, including nine boundaries.
At 122 for three, Sarwan and Darren Bravo stitched a valuable partnership to take West Indies to a respectable total.
Sarwan (55) and Bravo (71) both left the field retired hurt to allow the other batsmen to spend some time at the crease.
A 73-run ninth-wicket stand between Dilhara Lokuhettige and Nuwan Kulasekara had put Sri Lanka in sight of victory before succumbing to Bravo’s mopping up operation.
Kumar Sangakkara top-scored with 56 runs, while the rest of the batsmen failed to capitalise on their starts.
The lower order managed to stretch the game, with Kulasekara and Lokuhettige scoring 40 and 42 respectively.
It was a good rebound for the Windies after they were defeated by Australia last Saturday in Cardiff. They now look forward to Friday’s opening Group B match against Pakistan at the Oval.
Asked to bowl in the crucial final stages of the innings, a confident Narine bowled with great control and accuracy as the Windies also improved their ground fielding.
The 25-year-old said after the match he was happy with his effort as well as his recent jump to the No. 1 position in the ICC One-Day bowling rankings. He is also No. 1 in the ICC T20 bowling rankings.
“Being able to have a good performance in this game has given me the confidence going into the first game on Friday. Hopefully, I can continue with this good form I am having,” Narine said.
“Today, I tried to assess the pitch as soon as possible and once I realised it was giving me assistance, I decided to make the most of it. I tried my variations and I tried to go at them as hard as I could.” (CMC/WICB Media)

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