ODI: Centurion Bravo leads West Indies to 3-0 series sweep
Darren Bravo (102) stuck his fourth ODI century, along with half-centuries from Shai Hope (64) and Kieron Pollard (53 not out), propelled West Indies to a competitive target set by Sri Lanka to sweep a three-match CG Insurance ODI Series for the first time since at home to Bangladesh in 2014.
The victory also gave West Indies 30 valuable points and moved them up to sixth position in the International Cricket Council’s Super League table after six matches played, in their ongoing qualification run for the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India.
After two consecutive century opening partnerships of in the previous two matches between Evin Lewis and Shai Hope, West Indies this time slipped to 40-2 after the first Powerplay. Lewis (13) and Jason Mohammed (8) were bowled by excellent swinging and turning deliveries by pacer Suranga Lakmal and slow bowler Wannidu Hassangra respectively.
Hope, however, remained a constant, going on to register his sixth consecutive ODI score of over 50 or more – the tenth man to do so, with only Javed Miandad (9) having scored more. He put on a crucial 109-run third-wicket stand with Bravo, who was named the CG Insurance Man-of-the-Match. During his knock Hope also brought up 3,500 ODI runs. He ended the series with 258 runs in three innings and was and was the CG Insurance Man-of-the-Series.
Bravo’s 132-ball 102 also saw him register 3,000 ODI runs in the process. Along with Hope, they took the sting out of the Sri Lankan attack. After Hope fell hitting a catch to long-on, and Nicholas Pooran (15) shortly after that, Sri Lanka potential sniff at an opening.
This was quickly snuffed out when captain Pollard joined Bravo. The duo put on 80 for the fifth wicket off 71 balls. By the time Bravo was dismissed courtesy of a spectacular diving take by Dimuth Karunaratne at extra cover, the game was never in doubt with Jason Holder ending the game with a six over the mid-wicket.
Batting first Hasaranga and Ashen Bandara earlier in the day helped Sri Lanka recover and post a competitive total in an unbeaten 123-run seventh-wicket stand, after left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein (10-0-33-3) had rocked their middle order.
Together, the pair plundered 63 runs off the final five overs to take Sri Lanka to their highest total of the series, after they came together, at 151-6 at the end of the 32nd over. (CWI)