West Indies vs Sri Lanka: Danushka Gunathilaka gets out obstructing the field in the first ODI
Gunathilaka scored a half-century, but Sri Lanka lost the game by eight wickets.
Updated - Mar 11, 2021 2:45 pm
Danushka Gunathilaka, the Sri Lankan batsman, got out obstructing the field during the first ODI against the West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua. The incident happened in the 22nd over after the Lankans opted to bat first. Gunathilaka was seeing the ball like a football as he was batting on 55 runs with seven fours and a strike-rate in excess of 90.
As far as his dismissal was concerned, it created a lot of outrage in the visitors’ camp. Pollard churned out a slower delivery and the batsman tried to take off for a single, tapping the ball in front of him. Gunathilaka seemed to have deflected to ball from Pollard’s reach with his leg. Pathum Nissanka, from the non-striker’s end, was racing in, but he was sent back.
Pollard appealed immediately and the on-field umpire sent the soft signal as ‘Out’. In the end, the third umpire found enough evidence to rule the decision in the bowling team’s favour. Mickey Arthur, the Lankan coach, wasn’t happy and he came out to have a chat with the match officials.
This rare dismissal has sparked outrage. Surely it wasn't deliberate! 😳😳
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) March 11, 2021
It would’ve been a different story had Danushka Gunathilaka batted longer: Dimuth Karunaratne
Sri Lanka went on to lose the game by eight wickets after posting only 232 runs. Dimuth Karunaratne, their captain, reckoned that his team could have posted a bigger total had Gunathilaka batted longer.
“We got a nice start but lost a few wickets, especially the run-outs, so that was crucial. We were short of 30-40 runs, and me and Danushka could have batted longer – it would’ve been a different story,” Karunaratne was quoted as saying after the game.
“230 is not a good score, and they didn’t panic at all in the chase, that’s why we needed 280+. Gunathilaka got out at the wrong time and that was a key wicket triggering the collapse,” he added.
Shai Hope became the Player of the Match after scoring 110 runs off 133 balls with 12 fours and a six. The opener drew praises from Pollard after the Caribbean team took a 1-0 lead in the series.
“The way we batted, the way Shai batted, was amazing. The partnerships were impressive and it shows that we planned and came out with good execution. The guys upped the intensity on the field after they were 100-0 and eventually that push at the top ensured that we stifled their batting innings,” Pollard said.