A brilliant century (110) from opening batsman, Shai Hope, his tenth in One Day Internationals was the highlight of West Indies 8-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the 1st CG Insurance One Day International Cricket match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium at North Sound in Antigua and Barbuda yesterday.
Set 233 to win, the West Indies scored the runs with three overs to spare.
A 143-run opening stand between Hope and Evin Lewis, who scored a 90-ball 65, effectively batted Sri Lanka out of the game before their spin bowlers had a chance to take control. Then Darren Bravo’s 37 not out ensured that there were no hiccups for the West Indies after the Hope-Lewis opening stand was broken, and sealed the win for a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series.
Hope and Lewis brought up the West Indies first 50 inside nine overs, with Sri Lanka introducing spin right after, but at that point, the openers began to milk the singles, the left-right combination never quite letting the Sri Lankans settle into a rhythm.
After they won the toss and batted first, Sri Lanka’s innings also begun with a century partnership, 105 runs from Danushka Gunathilaka (55) and captain, Dimuth Karunaratne (52). The partnership was broken in a rear manner, when Gunathilaka was adjudged run out for obstructing fielder, Keiron Pollard.
Pathum Nissanka, on debut, set off for a single his partner wasn’t remotely interested in, and Pollard, sensing a run-out opportunity, raced to get hold of the ball, nestled beside Gunathilaka’s feet.
As the batsman took a backward step to ensure he remained inside his crease, he trod on the ball, knocking it back, leading to Pollard’s furious appeal. It appeared there was no way replays could establish that Gunathilaka had deliberately foiled a run-out attempt, but the TV Umpire determined that it was obstruction.
Sri Lanka suffered from two other run outs. Ashen Bandara made 50 to take Sri Lanka to 232 off 49 overs. Fast bowler, Jason Holder took 2-39, off-spinner, Jason Mohammed had 2-12, and there was a wicket each to fast bowler, Allzarri Joseph (1-49), medium pacer, Kieron Pollard (1-15), and left-arm, leg-spinner, Fabian Allen (1-38)
The final scores: Sri Lanka 232 off 49-overs, The West Indies 236-2 off 47 overs. The West Indies won by 8 wickets.
The 2nd One Day International will be played tomorrow also at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium at North Sound in Antigua and Barbuda.