Wed, Jul 10, 2013 - Page 18 News List

Sangakkara key for Sri Lanka in Windies defeat

Reuters

Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga delivers a ball during the Tri-Nation Series game against the West Indies on Monday in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Photo: AFP

Kumar Sangakkara struck an unbeaten 90 as Sri Lanka beat the West Indies by 39 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method in their rain-affected Tri-Nation Series game on Monday in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

The result leaves Sri Lanka and the West Indies on nine points, with India on five.

India were to face Sri Lanka yesterday to determine who will occupy the two spots in tomorrow’s final.

Sri Lanka had struggled to 60 for three before heavy rain suspended play on Sunday and the weather delayed the start on the reserve day, with the game eventually being reduced to a 41-over contest.

However, Sangakkara, having initially helped solidify Sri Lanka’s innings when they had been 29-3 on Sunday, took charge with an outstanding knock.

The classy left-hander hit seven boundaries, including one six, in his innings and worked the ball around the Queen’s Park Oval as the West Indies attack struggled to find a line or length to tie him down.

After Lahiru Thirimanne went for 23, beaten by spinner Marlon Samuels’ quicker ball, skipper Angelo Mathews came in and gave Sangakkara valuable support.

With 30 from 27 balls, including two sixes, Mathews helped step up the run rate as the pair put on a swift 46-run partnership, but Sri Lanka’s second top-scorer was extras, with the West Indies bowlers gifting them 31.

The total of 219 for eight in 41 overs meant that under the calculations, the West Indies needed 230 to win from their allotted overs, but once again the Caribbean side made a shaky start.

Chris Gayle went for 14, slashing a Mathews delivery to Shaminda Eranga at short third man before fellow opener Johnson Charles departed, also for 14, superbly caught and bowled by Eranga.

The West Indies were soon struggling at 29 for three after Mahela Jayawardene snapped up Samuels at slip off Eranga and just two more runs were added before Devon Smith was trapped leg before by Mathews.

However, Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo struck an excellent partnership that threatened to make a real contest of the game.

The West Indies pair put on 123 runs before Simmons (67), who had played some beautiful strokes, including four sixes, drove a full-length Eranga delivery to Thirimanne at deep cover.

Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy were removed cheaply before Bravo was finally taken out after he was caught by Jeevan Mendis for Mathews’ fourth wicket.

The West Indies ended on 190 for nine, enough to stop Sri Lanka from earning a bonus point which would have secured them a place in the final.

As it is, all three teams are still in with a chance, with the West Indies left to hope that Sri Lanka can beat India.

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