After facing a whitewash in the One-Day International (ODI) series from Sri Lanka, West Indies came back strongly and won the first T20I game at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
The Kieron Pollard-led side posted a humongous total of 196-4 in 20 overs, and in reply, Sri Lanka could only reach 171 with five balls to spare.
Fast bowler Oshane Thomas, who escaped serious injury in a road accident last month, shimmered in his comeback game. The Jamaican pacer destroyed Sri Lanka’s batting line-up. Thomas claimed a five-wicket haul for just 28 runs. He took all the first five wickets of the Lanka’s innings and reduced them for 56-5.
It was the third-best bowling figure by a Caribbean bowler in the shortest format of the game in the international circuit.
Best bowling figures for West Indies (T20I):
5/15 Keemo Paul v BAN, Dhaka 2018
5/26 Daren Sammy v ZIM, Port of Spain 2010
5/28 Oshane Thomas v SL, Pallekele 2020*
When it comes to performing against Sri Lanka, then Thomas registered the best figures by any West Indies bower in T20Is.
Best bowling figures for WI against SL:
5/28 Oshane Thomas in 2020*
4/19 Lendl Simmons in 2009
4/28 Dwayne Bravo in 2015
At Pallekelle, It was the third-best bowling performance in a T20I game after Ajantha Mendis and Lasith Malinga.
Best bowling figures at Pallekele (T20I):
6/16 Ajantha Mendis v AUS 2011
5/6 Lasith Malinga v NZ 2019
5/28 Oshane Thomas v SL 2020*
5/31 Lasith Malinga v ENG 2012
In the match, after losing five wickets early, Sri Lanka’s Kusal Mendis and Wanindu Hasaranga took their side out of hot waters as the duo added a vital 87-run stand before Rovman Powell got rid of dangerous Hasaranga (44 off 34).
Just after, Hasaranga’s wicket, the Islanders, witnessed another collapse as the remaining four wickets fell for just 27 runs and hosts could only score 171. Mendis, with 66 off 38, remained as the highest scorer for Sri Lanka.
Earlier, West Indies accumulated 196 with a loss of four wickets. Opener Simmons smashed his T20I career’s eighth half-century. He remained unbeaten on 67 from 51 balls.
Power-striker Andre Russell, who was playing his first T20 international in 20 months, exhibited a quickfire show. He played 14-ball 35 knock with two fours and four gigantic sixes. Skipper Pollard also joined the party and scored 34 off 15 balls with three fours and two sixes.