Sri Lanka A took a 1-nil lead in the 5-match ODI series against West Indies A winning the opening game by 2 wickets a.t the Sabina Park, Kingston on Wednesday.
Chasing 178 to win, Sri Lanka A had to dip in to all their reserves to pip the West Indies A. They made 181 for 8 in 48 overs with Charith Asalanka top scoring with 33 and Shehan Jayasuriya remaining unbeaten on 31.
The West Indies A batting first made 177 in 47 overswith the Sri Lankan bowlers displaying a well coordinated effort in restricting the host team to a total below 200. Leading the way with the ball were spinners Amila Aponso who claimed 3 wickets for 35 and Milinda Pushpakumara 2 for 35. Pace bowler Lahiru Kumara chipped in with 2 for 34. For Pushpakumara it marked a superb tour run having been West Indies bogey man in the 2-1 test series win with a rich haul of 23 wickets.
Sri Lanka underwent some anxious moments losing early frontline wickets, but Charith Asalanka, the former Sri Lanka U-19 captain and Richmond College product, stood firm defying the host team bowling attack with a resolute 33. Shehan Jayasuriya lent solid support staying to the finish to see his team to victory.
Chief Scores: WI 177 all out 47 overs Aponso 3/35 Pushpakumara 2/35 Lahiru Kumara 2/34 Chamika 2/31
Sri Lanka 181/8 48 overs Asalanka 33, Nipuna 24, Shehan Jayasuriya 31 n.o. Aponso 16 n.o.
It added to the fine tour run having won the test series 2-1. Skippered by Dhananjaya De Silva, Sri Lanka A performed remarkably in coming from behind having trailed 1-nil to win the next two test matches. Dhananjaya, who scored 104 in the lost first test, went on to display fine form with a solid 73 in the first innings of the second test. Sri Lanka made 294 with Dasun Shanaka clobbering an unbeaten 102. Roshen Silva made 30.
West Indies were bowled out for 137 and 144 with Sri Lanka winning by a huge margin of 292 runs. Pushpakumara claimed 6 for 52 and 6 for 46 for a match haul of 12 for 98 to take the Man of the Match award.
Sri Lanka won the third test by 10 wickets with Dananjaya de Silva top scoring with 64 followed by a fine 52 by Roshen Silva in a first innings total of 273. West Indies were bowled out for 181 and 118 with Shehan Jayasuriya reaping 6 for 60 to take the Man of the Match Award. Pushpakumara had 4 for 67.
West Indies won the first test by an innings and 13 runs having batted first and made 364 for 8 declared with Ambris scoring 106 and V. Singh 81. Pushpakumara claimed 3 for 104. Sri Lanka were all out for 212 with Dananjaya De Silva resisting with 104. Following on they were all out for 139 with Sadun Weerakkody scoring 56.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-