Clinical Sri Lanka knock West Indies out of T20 World Cup

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04 Nov 2021 | 06:43 PM
authorcricket.com staff

Clinical Sri Lanka knock West Indies out of T20 World Cup

Asalanka and Nissanka scored fifties before Hasaranga and Co. did the job in the second innings

Sri Lanka were phenomenal in all facets of the game in their last 2021 T20 World Cup encounter and knocked West Indies out of the showpiece event with a 20-run win in Abu Dhabi on Thursday (November 4). Now, England are all but through to the semifinals because of their superior NRR, while the second spot from Group 1 will be grabbed by either Australia or South Africa.

Asked to bat, Kusal Perera (21-ball 29) did most of the scoring in the powerplay and allowed Pathum Nissanka to settle in. Once Perera perished, Nissanka found an in-form ally in Charith Asalanka and the two put on 91 runs for the second wicket. Nissanka (41-ball 51) started slowly but picked up pace after the 10th over. The right-hander was dismissed after registering his third T20I fifty but Asalanka carried on and slammed 68 off 41, studded with eight fours and a six. Skipper Dasun Shanaka (25* off 14) too played his part as Sri Lanka scored 107 in the last 10 overs. 

Chasing 190, the defending champions did manage 169 but only two of their batters reached double figures. Nicholas Pooran smashed 46 off 34 but it was Shimron Hetmyer who played one of the best knocks of his career. The latter smoked eight fours and four maximums in his 54-ball 81* but found no suport whatsoever. Despite his knock, it never looked like West Indies would go on to win this game. Binura Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne and Wanindu Hasaranga picked up two wickets each and never allowed West Indies to get going.

The Islanders might have failed to qualify for the semifinals but they played some exciting cricket throughout the tournament. They have got some quality youngsters and can build a team around them. Asalanka and Hasaranga were outstanding throughout the tournament, while Maheesh Theekshana, Fernando, Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Nissanka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa too showed a lot of promise. 


Meanwhile, the Men in Maroon will play their final game of the tournament against Australia and that will "officially" be the end of their golden era. Dwayne Bravo has already announced his retirement from international cricket, and it won't come as a surprise if we don't see Chris Gayle, Ravi Rampaul and Lendl Simmons ever playing at this level after the end of this event. 

Sri Lanka batters played with freedom and flair to set up a daunting target which prove to be too steep for West Indies, who could never recover from a poor start to the run chase. For Sri Lanka, it was their second win of the Super 12 stage and they go home offering hopes for a bright future. West Indies' forgettable campaign showed the need to look beyond greats like Gayle and Bravo while rebuilding ahead of the 2022 edition.

Gayle's struggles continued as he was the first to depart for West Indies. Left-arm pacer Fernando removed Gayle and Evin Lewis in the second over to put extreme pressure on the opposition. Pooran and Hetmyer batted well but wickets at regular intervals kept West Indies always behind in the chase.

Earlier, in-form Nissanka and Asalanka enjoyed batting on the surface. Nissanka played some classy strokes en route his third half-century of the tournament. If the switch hit was not bold enough, the opener walked way across the off-stump to whip Rampaul towards backward square leg for a boundary.

Asalanka too struck a sublime half-century and one of the highlights of his innings was a straight slog sweep off Bravo for a six. With nothing to lose, Sri Lankan batters played to their promising potential and made the West Indies attack look pedestrian. They also displayed that the future of Sri Lankan batting is in capable hands and with more experience at the highest level, they will only get better.

Sri Lanka made 48 for 1 in the powerplay with the loss of Perera. Andre Russell took a brilliant catch to dismiss him. Nissanka and Asalanka then got together and with their free flowing strokeplay, put the West Indies attack under tremendous pressure. After Nissanka's dismissal, Asalanka went ballistic. In the 18th over, he slog swept Bravo for a straight six before smoking one over the bowler's head for a boundary.

(With inputs from PTI)

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West Indies vs Sri LankaICC World Twenty20, 2021West IndiesSri LankaWanindu HasarangaCharith AsalankaPathum NissankaShimron HetmyerNicholas Pooran

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