The series decider between West Indies and Sri Lanka turned out to be a low-scoring game that went to the wire. The hosts eventually registered victory by 3-wickets and sealed the T20I series 2-1 at Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua on Sunday.
Opting to bat first, the visitors were down and out when they lost the first four wickets for just 46 runs, inside 10 overs. However, Dinesh Chandimal and Ashen Bandara then came for the rescue and steadied the ship.
The pair went on to add an unbeaten 85-run stand for the fifth wicket to put Sri Lanka in somewhat a position where they could look to fightback, especially considering the kind of start they got. Chandimal scored the fifth half-century of his T20I career. He stayed not out on 54 off 46 balls with the help of three boundaries.
On the other hand, youngster Bandara showed immense maturity and contributed 44 not out from 35 deliveries. The 22-year-old smashed three fours and two sixes during his crucial knock. The touring side managed to post 131/4 in their allotted 20 overs.
For the home side, Fabien Allen was the least expensive bowler as he conceded only 13 runs in his quota of 4 overs and picked up a wicket as well. Apart from Allen, Kevin Sinclair, Obed McCoy and Jason Holder also bagged one scalp each.
In reply, the Caribbeans also struggled, but their unreal hitting ability helped them get off the pressure despite wickets falling at regular intervals. Small partnerships between the players and a low-score never really allowed the Lankan bowlers to dominate the proceedings.
Lakshan Sandakan picked up three wickets while Dushmantha Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga bagged two scalps each; still, the Windies managed to chase down the target with one over to spare. Allen, who bowled outstandingly well, showed tremendous skills with the willow. He scored a quickfire 21 from 6 deliveries at a phenomenal strike-rate of 350. The Jamaican smashed three sixes, including the last one, which ended the game.
Allen was named Player of the Match for his all-round performance.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
Congratulation to @windiescricket on a much needed series victory. More work to do going forward.
— Ian bishop (@irbishi) March 8, 2021
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) March 8, 2021
— WIPA (@wiplayers) March 8, 2021
— ICC (@ICC) March 8, 2021
12-42-8 Serious performance by Man of the series Wanindu.(Thisara last match 2-42-0)
Overlooked by IPL teams, IMO that's good for him and SL. Don't like other int. players getting used to him. He's the trump card for us in WT20.#WIvSL
— Poornama Edirisooriya🇱🇰 (@iam_poor9) March 8, 2021
— Joti Birdi (@BirdiOnBoundary) March 8, 2021
— Shahrukh Awan (@Shahruk24280502) March 8, 2021
We wont be gloating about this series win. Excellent we got the job done but our main point stands.
All of this is fine-tuning ahead of the WC. We clearly dont know our best team yet.
Dre Russ/Narine/Cottrell & Hetmyer are yet to feature.
Stay strapped in for the ride. #WIvSL
— Caribbean Cricket Podcast (@CaribCricket) March 8, 2021
Great series win WI. Was packed with excitement! #WIvSL
— Jason Greene (@JasonGreene87) March 8, 2021
Fabien Allen 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿 #WIvSL
— Vinay Lara (@ProudNellorian) March 8, 2021
Hasaranga, one of the best leggies going around in T20 cricket.
Should play in the IPL. #WIvSL
— Mohit (@Cut__Above) March 8, 2021
Best economy rate in a 3 match bilateral T20i series(played away)/(min 10 overs bowled) :
3.50 – Wanindu Hasaranga* vs WI, 2021
4.25 – GH Dockrell vs Kenya, 2011
4.25 – Imad Wasim vs SA, 2018#WIvSL
— Sooraj Ayyappan (@SoorajAyyappan_) March 8, 2021
Lakshan Sandakan ‘s (@LSandakan ) Bowling in this T20i Series
1st T20i – DNP
2nd T20i – 3.4 – 0 – 10 – 3
3rd T20i – 4- 0- 29 – 3
— DANUSHKA ARAVINDA (@DanuskaAravinda) March 8, 2021