Twitter Reactions: Oshane Thomas' five-wicket haul gives West Indies lead in the T20I series

Twitter Reactions: Oshane Thomas’ five-wicket haul gives West Indies lead in the T20I series

Simmons' unbeaten 67 helped West Indies post 196 batting first which they defended it comfortably later.

Oshane Thomas West Indies
Oshane Thomas. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s no secret that West Indies enjoy playing the T20 format and they exactly showed why. After a tough 3-0 loss in the ODI series, West Indies bounced back strongly to win the first T20I against Sri Lanka. Pallekele produced a very good track and the visitors made full use of it. Sri Lanka did have their moments and they were in the contest for quite some time but the men from the Caribbean proved to be too hot.

The fiery West Indies batting line-up show their might

When the teams were announced, West Indies boasted of serious firepower all the way down to No. 9. Dwayne Bravo was slated to bat at the seven-down position. West Indies showed their might as they posted a mammoth 196 batting first in their 20 overs.

After winning the toss, Brandon King and Lendl Simmons gave the visitors a solid start as the duo added 74 in a little more than eight overs before King was dismissed for 33. Simmons continued but held one end as the other power-hitters in the line-up rotated around him. Nicholas Pooran didn’t do much but the likes of Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard flexed their muscles nicely as they blasted quickfire cameos.

Russell walked in to bat at No. 4 and smoked two fours along with four sixes on his way to a 14-ball 35. Skipper Pollard who was playing his 500th T20 game smashed 34 off 15 balls to accelerate in the last five overs. He also got to the 10,000-run mark in the format.

Simmons remained unbeaten on 67 as he dropped anchor and allowed the others to smash it around. There was hardly any Sri Lankan bowler who exhibited control. Hence, the West Indies got to 196.

Oshane Thomas blows away Sri Lankan top order

Chasing nearly 10 runs an over, the hosts needed a good start and someone had to keep the foot on the accelerator for the most part of the innings. Moreover, the powerplay had to be maximized. However, it wasn’t to be as Kusal Perera kept going from his end but found no support from the other end.

Oshane Thomas blew away the Sri Lankan top order. He picked up three wickets in his first over before picking up one each in his second and third to register a five-wicket haul. It was his best bowling performance in a T20 game.

Kusal Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga fight but the mountain was too steep to climb

At 56/5, the game looked dead and buried. But Kusal Perera (66) and Wanindu Hasaranga (44) had other ideas. They first rebuilt and later took the attack to the West Indian bowlers. They shared an 87-run stand for the sixth wicket to keep Sri Lanka in the hunt. But once Hasaranga was dismissed for 44, the rest of the line-up fell like a pack of cards. They eventually lost by 25 runs and West Indies took a 1-0 lead.

Here is how Twitter reacted during the game: