Sri Lanka spinners stifle West Indies to level T20 series
SUMMARY: Sri Lanka 160-6 from 20 overs (Gunathilaka 56, Nissanka 37, Bravo 2-25, McCoy 1-34, Holder 1-36) vs West Indies 117 all out in 18.4 overs (McCoy 23, Simmons 21, Sandakan 3-10, Hasaranga 3-17, Chameera 2-26, Gunathilaka 1-8, Dananjaya 1-13)
Sri Lanka’s spin quartet Lakshan Sandakan, Wanindu Hasaranga, Akila Dananjaya and Danushka Gunathilaka produced combined figures of 12.4-0-48-8 to stoutly defend their total of 160 and draw level in the three-match T20 series 1-1 against West Indies on Friday evening at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.
West Indies, who pulled off a scrappy win in the first match two days earlier, again struggled against spin, losing wickets at regular intervals. The top and middle order found the going tough yet again, with four of the top six batsmen falling for single-figure scores in a response of 117 in 18.4 overs.
It took a brazen 23 off seven balls from Obed McCoy to prevent West Indies being bowled out before the triple-figure mark, as only Lendl Simmons (21) was the other batsman to get past 20.
Off-spinner Dananjaya, who picked up a hat-trick in the opening contest, was outstanding with the new ball, claiming 1-13 off four overs, including 16 dot balls.
However, it was leg-spinner Hasaranga and left-arm wrist-spinner Sandakan who made the telling blows in the middle overs.
Sandakan finished with 3-10 off 3.4 overs, while Hasaranga had 3-17 off four. Fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera was also impressive, claiming 2-26 off his quota of overs.
Off-spinner Gunathilaka capped a fine game, taking 1-8, after having topscored with 56 off 42 as Sri Lanka opted to bat first.
Gunathilaka and Pathum Nissanka (37 off 23) gave the tourists a flying start of 95 in 10.2 overs, but West Indies fought back well in the second half of the innings.
Ashen Bandara made 21 and Man-of-the-Match Hasaranga chipped in with 19 not out. Bowling for West Indies, Dwayne Bravo picked up 2-25, McCoy 1-34 and Jason Holder 1-36.
The series decider is on Sunday (March 7) from 18:00h at the same venue.