WI snatch last-ball win over SL

Port-of-Spain, April 11:

Shivnarine Chanderpaul hit the last two balls for a four and six to swing West Indies to a thrilling one-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the opening one-day international on Thursday.

Chanderpaul lashed an unbeaten 62 off 63 balls to guide the home team to 236-9 off 50 overs at Queen’s Park Oval. Sri Lanka made 235-7 riding on a career-best 95 from Chamara Kapugedera.

Sri Lanka were on target for victory in the last over when Chaminda Vaas conceded just three runs from the first four balls with West Indies needing 13 runs. But Chanderpaul fashioned a remarkable finish by smacking a four past mid-off from the penultimate delivery. He then swung a low full toss over midwicket.

West Indies’ reply began positively through captain Chris Gayle (52), who shared partnerships of 53 with Devon Smith and 56 with Ramnaresh Sarwan (35) to give his side the initiative at 109-1 in the 27th over. But debutant spinner Ajantha Mendis (3-39) and seamer Nuwan Kulasekara turned the match around, taking three wickets for one run.

Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo revived West Indies in a fifth-wicket stand of 59 off 61 balls. But Bravo’s 36 off 25 balls was ended by a run out and the balance shifted again. Bravo earlier took a career-best 4-32.

Earlier, Kapugedera and Chamara Silva (67) shared a record sixth-wicket stand of 159 to rebuild the Sri Lankan innings after they slipped to 49-5. Kapugedera arrived to join Silva in the 15th over and rebuilt the innings. They broke Sri Lanka’s sixth-wicket record partnership of 133 between Marvan Atapattu and Russel Arnold against India in Vadodara in 1993.