Tri Series 2016: Sri Lanka vs West Indies 5th ODI – 5 Talking Points

West Indies v Sri Lanka
West Indies batsman Evin Lewis (C) celebrates his century. (Photo by JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

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West Indies again made a mess of their winning position as they went down to Sri Lanka by a solitary run in the 5th ODI of the Tri-Nation series against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s win also kept Zimbabwe in the reckoning for a Final berth if they manage to beat West Indies by a big margin in their next encounter.

The Windies had the match in their grasp till the very last moments of the game but eventually fell short by 1 run. Evin Lewis scored a brilliant 148 and his wicket at a crucial juncture of the game allowed the Sri Lankans to claw their way back into the game. With the nerve-wracking win, Sri Lanka also guaranteed themselves a place in the final.

Here we bring you 5 talking points from the last ball thriller:

1. Outstanding half centuries by youngsters Niroshan Dickwella and Kusal Mendis

Sri Lanka began on a shaky note losing hard-hitting batsman Kusal Perera early but Dhananjaya de Silva along with Niroshan Dickwella kept the scoreboard busy and was finding the gaps in regular intervals. The southpaw made a well combined 94 and his innings was constructed with seven fours and a maximum.

Mendis joined Dickwella in the middle after the dismissal of de Silva. With the score at 123/2, Sri Lanka was in full control of proceedings and with attacking Kusal Mendis in the middle the whole complexion of the game changed. Mendis started hitting boundaries on a consistent basis and increased the run rate by a considerable margin.

When Dickwella was eventually dismissed, the duo has already taken Sri Lanka’s score past the 200 mark but the attacking Mendis continued his prowess and was dismissed at the score of 94 in 73 balls. He struck 7 fours and 5 sixes during his destructive innings. Sri Lankans eventually finished at the score of 330/7 in their allotted 50 overs.

2. Jason Holder’s inspired spell when rest around him went for plenty

Fast bowling all-rounder Jason Holder was the most successful bowler for West Indies and finished with figures of 3/57. On a day when most of the bowlers were belted around the park, Holder’s spell prevented the Sri Lankans from scoring 350+

Though Holder was unable to pick up a wicket in his first spell, he came back strongly to dismiss the well set Dickwella and followed it up with two more strikes of Upul Tharanga and Asela Gunaratne. He bowled his cutters and slower balls to perfection especially in the death overs to prevent the Sri Lankans from scoring well over 350.

3. Evin Lewis’s breathtaking 148 of 122 balls

Chasing a massive 331 to win, openers Evin Lewis and Johnson Charles went after the bowling from the onset. The duo made full use of the powerplay but Charles was dismissed in the 9th over at the score of 63. From there on it was a one man show as Lewis demolished the Lankan bowlers all around Bulawayo.

Lewis decorated his innings with 15 fours and four maximums and was looking well set to take West Indies over the finishing line when a complete error of judgment by Lewis and Holder while taking a single cost them dearly. Lewis was run out as the Sri Lankans crawled their way back into the match.

Sri Lanka would have felt the heat when Lewis was going great guns as the southpaw kept smashing the listless bowlers all around the park but eventually his innings went in vain as West Indies went down by a solitary run.

4. Hat trick of run outs in the Windies innings cost them dearly

West Indies were well placed at 175/2 and was in complete control of proceedings but what followed next left everyone dumbfounded. West Indies lost their next 3 wickets in the form of run outs and it was suicidal, to say the least.

The hat trick of run outs started with the fall of Shai Hope’s wicket as he was brilliantly run out by Nuwan Pradeep hitting the stumps directly from the deep.

The next wicket to fall was of Jonathan Carter. With the ball in the air, Tharanga chased the ball attempting a catch but could not hold on to it in time but was successful in throwing the ball towards the bowler’s end which hit the stumps directly and left Carter short of the crease.

The most important wicket to fall was of Evin Lewis. The southpaw was going great guns but an error of judgment from Jason Holder was enough to run him out during a crucial juncture of the game. West Indies fell apart after his wicket and eventually surrendered the match by a solitary run.

5. Nuwan Pradeep’s match-winning final over

With 10 runs to win from the final over, West Indies were the favourites to win but an inspired final over by youngster Nuwan Pradeep helped Sri Lanka to clinch a nail-biting thriller.

Pradeep bowled a perfect Yorker to Holder of the first ball and conceded a single. He would have fancied his chances seeing Suleiman Benn on strike but went for a gigantic six in the 3rd ball of the over to bring down the calculation to 3 runs of 3 balls.

The fast bowler kept his composure and bowled a perfect Yorker and followed it up with Benn’s wicket in the penultimate delivery. With 3 runs to win off the final ball, Holder could just manage a single as Pradeep bowled perfectly in the block hole to hand Sri Lanka a 1 run victory.