Bravo, Narine take West Indies to victory

An all-round effort from Dwayne Bravo and a four-wicket haul by Sunil Narine helped the West Indies win its second warm-up game in the ICC World Twenty20 2014. In a rematch of the 2012 final the West Indies faced Sri Lanka, and won by 33 runs in Dhaka on Wednesday (March 19).

Darren Sammy’s late 30-run blitz took the West Indies to 172 for 5 in its allocated 20 overs at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. Losing wickets at regular intervals, Sri Lanka struggled from the outset to fall well short, being bowled out for 139 in 19.2 overs.

Defending 173, the West Indies illustrated why it is such a formidable side in the 20-over format, making early inroads to dismiss Kusal Perera (4) and Mahela Jayawardena (0), within the first four overs. Kumar Sangakkara (24) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (43) then shared a 54-run stand for the third wicket to stabilise the innings before Bravo struck twice. He dismissed both Sangakkara and Dilshan in the 11th over to peg Sri Lanka back, paving the way for Sunil Narine to take control.

Narine picked up three wickets in the 16th over to reduce Sri Lanka to 109 for 8. Nuwan Kulasekara tried to duplicate his heroics from the previous game, where he remained unbeaten on 21 off 14, but with 39 required, he only ended up giving Narine a fourth wicket. Bravo came back to end Sri Lanka’s innings, bowling Sachitra Senanayake in the final over, returning figures of 3 for 29.

Asked to bat earlier in the day, Dwayne Smith came out all guns blazing, giving the West Indies a rollicking start. Rangana Herath however, struck in his first over, dismissing the dangerous Chris Gayle for a quiet 13-ball 12, immediately after Smith reaped a 19-run over off Ajantha Mendis. Andre Fletcher was then trapped lbw in Herath’s following over, while Smith continued his assault on Sri Lanka’s bowlers, bringing up a 36-ball half-century with a boundary.

Smith stitched a 49-run stand with Bravo, before missing one that kept straight, falling for 60 in 45 balls that included eight fours and two sixes. Bravo, however, continued unperturbed till he was caught in the deep in the penultimate over for a 31-ball 43. Sammy remained unbeaten on 30 off 14, after taking Kulasekara for 17 runs in the last over. Mendis was the most bruised bowler in Sri Lanka’s attack, conceding 43 in three overs.

 Sri Lanka now takes on South Africa in its tournament opener on March 22 in Chittagong, while the West Indies faces off against India on March 23.
(Courtesy: International Cricket Council)