Sri Lanka beat West Indies by nine wickets
Pallekele: Sri Lanka defeated West Indies by nine wickets in their Super Eights match of the ICC World Twenty20 here today.
Brief scores: 129 for five in 20 overs (Marlon Samuels 50, Dwayne Bravo 40; Ajantha Mendis 2/12).
Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka 130 for one in 15.2 overs (Mahela Jayawardene 65 not out, Kumar Sangakkara 39 not out). While Jayawardene struck 10 fours and a six, Sangakkara had five hits to the fence.
Earlier, Sri Lanka`s bowlers produced a disciplined performance, which laid the West Indies low.
Mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis led the way with measly figures of two for 12, in the process reaching the 100-wicket mark in T20 cricket.
There was a wicket apiece for Nuwan Kulasekara, Jeevan Mendis and Angelo Mathews.
Marlon Samuels was the West Indies` top scorer with a 35-ball 50, while Dwayne Bravo contributed 40 off 34 deliveries.
The West Indies` decision to bat first backfired as the Sri Lankans kept them on leash throughout the 20 overs at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
The hosts had their first breakthrough when Ajantha had Charles Johnson stumped by Kumar Sangakkara with the final delivery of the fifth over.
But the bigger for the Windies was losing dangerman Chris Gayle, who, after a frustrating stay at the crease, slashed at a wide delivery by Kulasekara only to offer a diving catch to Sangakkara.
Bravo and Samuels tried to revive West Indies` innings with a 65-run third-wicket stand -- the highest for this wicket between the two teams.
But as the duo sought to settle down, the visitors lost two more wickets in the form of Bravo and Kieron Pollard.
While Bravo was done in by legspinner Jeevan Mendis, Ajantha sent back Pollard with a quicker one to reach his 100th wicket in this form of the game, including domestic competitions.
At this stage, West Indies badly needed big hitters to prop them up, and they found their men in Samuels and Andre Russell (19 off 14 balls), who produced a few effective blows towards the end.