ICC World Twenty20: Andre Fletcher fills in for injured Chris Gayle; helps West Indies beat Sri Lanka by 7 wickets
West Indies reached the 123-run target with 10 balls remaining.
New Delhi: Andre Fletcher, filling in as the opener for injured Chris Gayle, played a career defining unbeaten knock of 84 runs to help West Indies beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in their ICC World Twenty20 Super 10 match on Saturday at Bangalore.
West Indies reached the 123-run target with 10 balls remaining as Fletcher toyed with Lankan attack. The 28-year-old remained unbeaten on 84 off 64 deliveries. The right-handed batsman hit six fours and five sixes to set up the second successive win for the Caribbean outfit at M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Fletcher got the opportunity to open the innings after his mentor Gayle picked up an injury while fielding in the first innings of the match.
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After the fall of third West Indies wicket, Gayle started to walk out but the fourth umpire held him back because of the time he was off the field.
Earlier, put into bat, Sri Lanka scored 122 for 9 wickets in their World T20 Super 10 Group 1 cricket match against the West Indies here today.
Leg-spinner Samuel Badree tore into the rival top-order in an exceptional spell as the West Indies restricted Sri Lanka to a modest 122 for nine in a Group I match of the World Twenty20, here today.
Badree hit the right areas outside the off stump with amazing consistency as he gave away only 12 runs in his four overs and accounted for three Lankan batsmen after the Caribbeans opted to bowl.
His spell meant that Sri Lanka had lost half the side before the 10th over. Runs were hard to come by and there was a time when the gap between two boundaries was 44 balls.
Tall left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn also contributed in stifling the Lankan innings as he conceded only 13 runs in his four-over quota even as he did not take a wicket.
Sri Lanka owed their score to Thisara Perera, who top scored for the defending champion with a 40-run knock off 29 balls. The left-hander also added 44 runs for the sixth wicket with skipper Angelo Mathews (20).
Their partnership ended when Mathews was out in a bizarre manner. He tried to duck a slow full toss from Dwayne Bravo but the ball kissed the bat and flew towards Dinesh Ramdin, who took an easy catch.
Perera kept fighting hard and found a few boundaries towards the end before holing it up to Andre Russell off Dywane Bravo (2/21).
At the start, Andre Rusell bowled loose and was duly punished with Tillakaratne Dilshan (12) creaming off a six and a four in the very first over but the opener was trapped by Carlos Brathwaite at the start of the fourth over.
The TV replays showed that the ball would have missed the leg stump but the damage was done. The Lankans had more disappointment in store as Dinesh Chandimal was run out when Lahiru Thirimanne sent him back.
Badree soon scalped Thirimanne, who hit straight to point fielder Fletcher. He continued to torment the defending champions as he dismissed two batsmen in the ninth over.
He had Chamara Kapugedera stumped in the first ball and next in line was Milinda Siriwardene, who drove but managed an edge which flew to first slip Chris Gayle.
Had it not been for Perera's fighting knock, the Lanaks would have struggled to go past even 100. He was out in the penultimate ball of the innings.
(With PTI inputs)