A gutsy performance from the West Indies was all for naught as Angelo Mathews claimed four wickets to bowl hosts Sri Lanka to a six-run victory on Sunday (March 1) in Kandy.
The Asian team completed a 3-0 whitewash of the One-Day International (ODI) series despite injuries to Nuwan Pradeep and Dhananjaya de Silva.
Five scores of between 30 and 60 had earlier taken Sri Lanka to a competitive total of 307 before some tight middle overs from the home spinners set the stage for Mathews’ late heroics.
The home side won the toss and elected to bat first. It was a drama filled encounter, punctuated by frustration, close calls and missed opportunities which left Sri Lanka at 307 all out.
The West Indies started strongly in reply, with first Sunil Ambris and then Shai Hope completing half-centuries. But the ball after Hope reached 50, Ambris failed to pick Hasaranga’s googly and was clean bowled for a run-a-ball 60.
West Indies were in cruise control at one stage with the score at 218-2 in the 40th over, but they failed to put on the finishing touches and the home team took the series.
With 13 required from the final over, Allen on strike and Mathews to bowl, it was still anyone’s game. A boundary first ball was immediately countered by a good boundary catch by Kusal Mendis to send Allen back to the pavilion for a 15-ball 37.
Joseph and Cottrell managed only two runs from the remainder of the over, sealing a 3-0 series win for Sri Lanka.
The next two bouts, Twenty-20 matches on Wednesday and Friday, will see the Windies try to restore some pride to the Sri Lankan tour.