Upul Tharanga’s Century Paves Way for Sri Lanka’s Success against West Indies

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  • Upul Tharanga’s Century Paves Way for Sri Lanka’s Success against West Indies

Upul Tharanga’s Century Paves Way for Sri Lanka’s Success against West Indies

Entering into the second ODI against the visiting team from West Indies, Upul Tharanga’s 101 off 143 balls brought a comfortable win for the Sri Lankan squad in Colombo.

Tharanga, the young batsman who turned 26 yesterday, hit 7 boundaries to accomplish his hundred. While chasing rather an unchallenging total of the visitors, he built the third wicket partnership of 97 runs with the formidable batsman Mahela Jayawardene. Jayawardene, for hitting 48 off 46, also remained unbeaten. Tharanga also contributed well into the 70 run second wicket partnership with Kumar Sangakkara, the skipper of the team, who succumbed to Dwayne Bravo after putting 20 runs on the board.

After the visitors were all out for 203 in 50 overs, the hosts overhauled the revised target of 197 runs in 43rd over. The impressive chase, which had been speaking volumes about Sri Lanka’s batting potential, have definitely added up to the pressure the visitors have already been going through.

Earlier, when the visitor appeared on the field to bat first, Lasith Malinga bagged three wickets of the rivals while other bowlers also contributed well in restricting the West Indian batsmen to the modest total of 203. Succumbing to the pressure built by the hosts’ bowling squad, no visiting batsman could go past 39. The only two batsmen who could touch the highest individual total of 39 were Darren Bravo and Dwayne Bravo.

Opening the innings after losing the toss, West Indies’s opening pair had gone back to the pavilion at a total of 45 runs. Adrian Barath and Chris Gayle, the opening duo made 12 and 28 runs respectively.

Taking on rather carefully with the situation, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Darren Bravo tried to stabilize the team and made 49 runs in their partnership stretching up to 16 overs. The partnership was broken with Sarwan walking back to pavilion after an unfortunate run out at 21.

Dwayne Bravo, the new batsman on the crease, along with his namesake added 38 runs to the total of the team when Malinga got Darren Bravo, the left handed batsman, lbw. With the fall of fourth wicket, the visitors remained struggling on a total of 132.

Malinga, continuing with the momentum, bagged Keiron Pollard in his next over; however, playing rather responsibly, Dwayne Bravo and Carlton Baugh added 37 more runs for the sixth wicket partnership.

With Bravo falling for 39 off 55 balls in 44th over, West Indies’ hope to strike back in the finishing overs was dashed. Though Carlton Baugh did well to ensure his team to go past 200, but his 28 runs could not proved to be good enough to help his side land at a respectable total.

For bagging three wickets in ten overs and giving mere 30 runs, Malinga displayed one of his best performances. For displaying an equal level of quality bowling, Muttiah Muralitharan, Rangana Herath and Nuwan Kulasekara bagged two wickets each.

While starting to chase the total put by the visitors on the board, Sri Lanka preferred to go slow and made 45 runs in 14.4 overs and bore the loss of Tillakaratne Dilshan who could not go beyond 11.

Upon the decision to revise the total to 197 in 47 overs, while resuming with the game, Tharanga and Sangakkara decided to pace up the run rate and the hosts made 100 runs in 26 overs.

The duo had added 70 runs in 17 overs when Bravo succeeded in making the breakthrough when Gayle caught Sangakkara in short extra-cover at an individual total of 20. From there onwards, Tharanga and the new man coming in, Jayawardene, decided to pace up the game; they added 60 runs in next 11 overs.

For brining an impressive victory for their team, the former skipper went on playing an aggressive innings, while moving towards the ninth century of his career, Tharanga decided to play an anchoring role. By entering into the 43 over of their innigs, the duo had successfully achieved the moderate total laid by the visitors.