By NAN Sports Editor
News Americas, NORTH SOUND, Antigua, Sun. March. 14, 2021: The West Indies team is on a roll – claiming another win on Friday and eyeing a third today.
The Windies are looking at a series whitewash over Sri Lanka today as they eye a third win the final One-Day International of the three-match series here Sunday.
The Caribbean side took a winning 2-0 lead on Friday with a nervy five-wicket last-over victory, following up their comprehensive eight-win win in last Wednesday’s opener also at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.
And with precious World Cup Super League points on offer, Evin Lewis (103), the fourth one-day international century, was the bedrock behind West Indies prevailing in a challenging run chase of 274, to take an unassailable 2-0 series lead in the three-match ODI rubber against Sri Lanka with a game to spare.
The victory is third ODI series win out of five under Kieron Pollard’s leadership following wins away to Afghanistan in 2019 and home to Ireland in 2020.
Entering the series against the backdrop of a heavy drubbing in Bangladesh last month, West Indies needed a strong performance in order to compensate for their recent poor showing.
The West Indies won the toss and fielded. The opening victory was a convincing result, chasing down a modest 232 to win with three overs remaining and take an upper hand in the series.
In contrast, West Indies nearly let slip a strong position in pursuit of 274 in the second ODI, sliding from 194 without loss to get home in the final over with two balls to spare. But Lewis and Shai Hope put on their second consecutive century partnership of the series, to lay another solid platform. Although Sri Lanka managed a fightback, West Indies had enough in the end to secure victory with two balls remaining.
However, captain Kieron Pollard said the decline was not necessarily a cause for concern going forward.
Like Lewis, Pollard reiterated the focus of the side to make a clean sweep of the series.
In the opening ODI, Hope hit 110 and Lewis, 65, in a 143-run stand while in the second game, Lewis struck 103 and Hope, 84, in a 194-run opening partnership.
Lewis said there had been a great synergy with Hope, with both hungry to do well and provide the ideal start of the home side.
“He is a guy that always has confidence. I feel very at ease when I bat with him. We’re just looking to continue.”
Match time today: 09:30 AST (13:30 UTC)
SQUADS FOR TODAY:
WEST INDIES – Kieron Pollard (captain), Shai Hope (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Jason Mohammed, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Kevin Sinclair.
SRI LANKA – Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Dasun Shanaka, Danushka Gunathilake, Pathum Nissanka, Ashen Bandara, Oshada Fernando, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella, Thisara Perera, Kamindu Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Nuwan Pradeep, Asitha Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Akila Dananajaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Dilshan Madushanka, Suranga Lakmal.