Sri Lanka beats West Indies by 1 wicket in 1st ODI

COLOMBO: Tillakaratne Dilshan smashed three sixes and six boundaries in a 32-ball 59 Sunday as Sri Lanka held on to defeat West Indies in the first ODI by one wicket under the Duckworth-Lewis method with seven balls to spare.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews won the toss and asked West Indies to bat first at R. Premadasa Stadium in the three-match series.

West Indies made 159-8 in its rain-shortened 26-over innings and Sri Lanka needed 163 to win the one-day international under the D-L method.

The hosts reached the target nine wickets down when tailender Ajantha Mendis took advantage of a free-hit to smash a six off part-time bowler Johnson Charles.

Sri Lanka finished on 164-9 in 24.5 overs.

Sri Lanka started its chase aggressively and looked on course to win the match easily. Dilshan and Kusal Perera scored at nearly 10 runs per over in a 46-run stand for the opening wicket in 29 deliveries.

Perera (14) was run out to a sharp direct hit by Jonathan Carter.

Sri Lanka was comfortably paced on 89-1 at one stage but West Indies bowlers looked to sneak back with important breakthroughs.

Lahiru Thirmanne (17) was caught by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin off Carlos Brathwaite. Diishan's innings ended in the same fashion, leaving Sri Lanka 104-3 off 12.5 overs.

West Indies spinner Sunil Narine, playing his first international match in more than a year, took three wickets in the 19th over to turn the match in his team's favor.

He had Milinda Siriwardana (7) caught by Brathwaite and bowled out newcomers Shehan Jayasuriya (0) and Danushka Gunathilaka (12) as Sri Lanka slumped to 133-7.

Carter brought victory even nearer with two blows in the 24th over, dismissing Sachithra Senanayake (7) and Lasith Malinga (0) in successive balls to leave Sri Lanka 152-9.

However, West Indies captain Jason Holder was compelled to use a part-time bowler due to an injury to seam bowler Andre Russell — and this proved decisive.

Charles gave away two runs off a no-ball and Mendis hit a six off a free-hit to seal the game. He was unbeaten on 21.

Narine, who had opted out of this year's World Cup after concerns were raised over his bowling action, returned 3-21.

Earlier in the West Indian innings Russell scored 41 off 24 deliveries and captain Holder smashed 36 off just 13 balls to lift West Indies from a shaky start to 159-8.

Seam bowler Suranga Lakmal gave his captain an ideal start, taking three wickets as the tourists got into trouble at 40-3 in the 15th over when rain interrupted play.

Lakmal trapped opener Charles (1) leg before wicket with the total on 2 and had the other opener Andre Fletcher (3) caught at cover-point by Dilshan. Lakmal also dismissed Marlon Samuels lbw for just 2 to finish with best bowling figures of 3-15

With the match reduced to 26 overs per side and his team losing one more wicket to go to 42-4, Russell hit three sixes and three boundaries to lift the total.

Holder was run out last after hitting three sixes and two boundaries.

No. 3 batman Darren Bravo held the innings together while wickets fell to score 38 off 58 balls including a six and three boundaries.

Spinner Mendis did well with the ball too, taking 2-46 in four overs to reach 150 wickets in one-day internationals in his 84th game.