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ICC World Cup 2019: Match 39, Sri Lanka vs Windies, Review – Lankans pull off a thrilling win; Pooran’s knock goes in vain

On a night where the youngsters stood up for their respective sides, it was the 1996 champions who eventually had the upper hand.

Sri Lankan team
Sri Lankan team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Though Sri Lanka struggled to find their feet in the tournament, but they will definitely remember two games from this one – against England and this one against the Windies. It was a game which saw some brilliant youngsters rise to the occasion from either side but eventually, it was the 1996 champions who emerged victorious.

It needed a strong opening stand from the Sri Lankan team to explore their batting potential and when they did it, they did it beautifully. Dimuth Karunaratne watched from the other end as Kusal Perera went about his business brilliantly. The duo added a fantastic 93 run-stand in very quick time and it ended with Jason Holder inducing an edge off Dimuth Karunaratne, which went straight to the keeper.

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Perera completed his half-century and continued to hit some boundaries before he ran himself out courtesy. The youngster Avishka Fernando, who got a couple of good starts in this tournament, finally made a strong impact on the game. He first stitched a brilliant partnership alongside Kusal Mendis, where he played some delightful shots and completed an amazing half-century.

Mendis and Fernando added 85 runs for the 3rd wicket before the former departed for a 41-ball 39. Angelo Mathews came in and played a strong cameo, which began accelerating the scorecard. He got out way too soon, but Fernando found great support in Lahiru Thirimanne who finally chipped in with a meaningful contribution.

Avishka Fernando stood tall till the dead end of the innings and completed his first ODI hundred. He got out in the 48th over, but his hundred and Thirimanne’s 33-ball 45 steered Sri Lanka to a brilliant 338 for the loss of six wickets. Jason Holder picked up a brace for the Windies on a day where his bowlers got hammered.

Casual cricket from the Caribbeans puts them in trouble

Lasith Malinga gave the Islanders a commanding start by picking two early wickets. He first dismissed Sunil Ambris and then Shai Hope chopped on to his stumps in the next over. Chris Gayle survived the initial scare and did start lofting the ball to good effect for some time, but he went for one too many and was dismissed off Kasun Rajitha’s bowling.

Shimron Hetmyer, who got a life when Kusal Mendis dropped him very early in the innings, failed to capitalize and was dismissed courtesy some very casual cricket. Jason Holder was one of the many in today’s game to have gotten a start but bottled it. Yet, before he was dismissed for a 26-ball 26, he added 61 runs for the fifth wicket with Nicholas Pooran.

Pooran was in a bit of a freestyle mode with the target seeming way too far to be fetched. He played some delightful Caribbean strokes which entertained the fans thoroughly. He completed his half-century in double quick time and tensions were slightly beginning to creep in. He added a crucial 50-run partnership with Brathwaite, where Brathwaite scored just 8 runs but this promising partnership ended with a very unfortunate run-out.

Pooran and Allen resurrect the Windies

Nicholas Pooran and Fabian Allen had a mountain to climb in front of them, but the duo played some outstanding and fearless cricket. Allen was hitting the ball cleanly, which allowed Pooran to take the back seat for some time. Allen completed a half-century and added 83 runs for the 7th wicket. The partnership ended at a crucial phase in the game, as Allen was run-out under bizarre circumstances.

Pooran immediately got to his three figures after that and was also dropped by Thisara Perera. The 23-year-old took the responsibility on his shoulder. But the first ball Angelo Mathews bowled in almost 16 months got him the wicket of Pooran with Windies still needing 31 runs to win. The game was virtually dead after that and the Lankans pulled off a nerve-wracking win by 23 runs.

Brief Scores

Sri Lanka: 338/6 in 50 overs (Avishka Fernando 104, Kusal Perera 64, Lahiru Thirimanne 45*; Jason Holder 2/59)

Windies: 315/9 in 50 overs (Nicholas Pooran 118, Fabian Allen 51; Lasith Malinga 3/55)

Result: Sri Lanka won by 23 runs

Man of the match: Avishka Fernando

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