Dominant Sri Lanka thump West Indies in CWC Qualifier

HARARE (Agencies): Maheesh Theekshana’s astonishing figures of 4/34, followed by Pathum Nissanka’s century powered Sri Lanka to crush West Indies by eight wickets in the Cricket World Cup (CWC) Qualifier.
Set to chase a modest 244-run target, Pathum Nissanka’s anchoring century knock paved the way for Sri Lanka to complete the pursuit for the loss of just two wickets with 34 balls to spare.
Sri Lankan openers Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne scripted a solid start to the run chase with a sensible 193-run partnership which lasted with the latter’s dismissal in the 34th over.
Nissanka struck 14 boundaries on his way to a 113-ball 104. Karunaratne soon followed his opening partner’s footsteps in the 37th over when he also walked back to the pavilion when Sri Lanka needed 40 more runs.
He scored 83 off 92 deliveries with the help of seven boundaries.
With both openers back in the pavilion, wicketkeeper batter Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama made sure there were no more hiccups in the run chase and put on an unbeaten partnership.
Mendis scored 34 not out off 43 deliveries, hitting three boundaries while Samarawickrama scored an unbeaten 17.
Kevin Sinclair and Akeal Hosein could pick a wicket apiece for West Indies.
Put into bat first in their last CWC Qualifier fixture, the West Indies batting lineup once again faltered and thus the two-time champions, already knocked out of the World Cup qualification race, could only pile 243 runs on the scoreboard.
The Caribbean side after a cautious start, kept losing wickets at an alarming rate before eventually bowling out for a meagre total.
Their partnership came for the ninth wicket when Keacy Carty and Kevin Sinclair added 63 runs to the total. Carty waged a lone battle for West Indies amid their dismal show with the bat with a gutsy 87-run knock from 96 deliveries, hitting six boundaries and a six.
Opening batter Johnson Charles (39), Romario Shepherd (25) and Sinclair (25) were the other significant contributor for the West Indies. Maheesh Theekshana spearheaded Sri Lanka’s bowling attack with 4/35, followed by debutant Dushan Hemantha’s 2/49.