A pair of hundreds of Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis led Sri Lanka on 345/8 before their spinners brought the visiting batsmen together for a 161-run win, Sri Lanka’s biggest win over the West Indies in format.
Their innings also beat the previous record for the largest total of the home team against the West Indies, 338/6 in Chester-le-Street, set during the 2019 ICC World Cup for Men, by seven runs and set a new record for the highest on total achieved in ODIs for men without six, after the 333/6 England scored against Australia in 2011.
The West Indies made an excellent start after winning the litter and choosing to roll first when Sheldon Cottrell removed Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera with consecutive deliveries to reduce the hosts to 9/2.
But Fernando and Mendis have a great 239-year partnership for the third wicket to turn the game upside down. The couple was finally separated and there were less than 10 overs in the innings. Mendis was the man who had to go after collecting his second ODI bin when he tried to clear Alzarri Joseph’s border.
Joseph struck again in his next game and sent Fernando to the best 127 of his career, the first ODI century of the 21-year-old. Keemo Paul took the catch in the middle of the wicket to pay for having dropped the opener from the previous delivery. In total, the two centurions encountered a total of 22 boundaries, all four, with the vast majority of their runs on a large playing field passing excellent runs.
Late cameos from Thisara Perera (36 out of 25), Dhananjaya de Silva (12 out of 5), Wanindu Hasaranga (17 out of 10) and Isuru Udana (17 * out of 9) brought the hosts to a massive sum and left the West Indies behind highest total number ever beaten in Sri Lanka.
Shai Hope and Sunil Ambris had a steady start until their 64-year partnership ended due to some misunderstanding, thanks to a wonderful stopover by Angelo Mathews, who threw the ball to the end of the bowler, and Ambris found its ground shortly before recovery.
Hope, who came back in the first ODI out of a hundred, added a 16. fifty to his record in the format, but fell just a few balls later when he misjudged an attempted big bowling match by Mathews. And Darren Bravo held out only three overs before becoming Hasaranga’s first victim. He was caught when he slid off the bat’s back because he hadn’t been able to get the googly.
Roston Chase and Nicholas Pooran teamed up to stem the flow of the gates and pooled 37 runs, but Chase’s Wicket – bowled by Lakshan Sandakan for 20 years – caused another breakdown than both Kieron Pollard and Jason Holder from Hasaranga Googlies, the former, was released a golden duck when the Sri Lankan leg spinner ended his spell with numbers of 3/30.
🚨 RECORD BREAKERS 🚨— ICC (@ICC) February 26, 2020
This partnership between Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis is now the highest third wicket stand by a Sri Lankan pair in the history of ODI cricket. pic.twitter.com/gQW8BPQJbj
A fabulous attack by Mathews ended Pooran’s resistance on the 31st and after a short partnership between Fabian Allen and Keemo Paul the game came to a close. Paul was tricked by a slower Nuwan Pradeep palm of the hand that was flawlessly bowled for 21 minutes when he finished his shot far too early, and after a delay due to a floodlight failure, the sailor cleaned two Alzarri Joseph’s stump from cleaning the last ball of the over. Sandakan then caught Allen past the first ball of the next to seal a huge 161 run win for the hosts.
Sri Lanka led the series 2-0 in the third and final ODI, which will be held in Kandy on Sunday, March 1st.