Both coaches were left asking for more from their players after Sri Lanka ‘A’s’ narrow two-wicket win in the day/night contest at Sabina Park on Wednesday gave them a one-nil lead in the three-match one-day series against West Indies ‘A’.
The second encounter — another day/night affair — is to be played today at Sabina Park with a scheduled 2:00 pm start.On Wednesday, the Sri Lankans scrambled to 181-8 after dismissing West Indies ‘A’ for a below-par 176 all out, albeit on a slow pitch. Due to persistent rain over the last few weeks, the outfield was also on the sluggish side.
Scores: West Indies ‘A’ 176 (48.4 overs); Sri Lanka ‘A’ 181-8 (48 overs)West Indies ‘A’ Head Coach Graeme West highlighted weaknesses in the all-round effort that led to the defeat, while giving credit to pacers Sheldon Cottrell and Ronsford Beaton and off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall.
The West Indies ‘A’ batting meltdown was particularly glaring with five wickets falling for 28 runs in the middle order. In the field, they allowed the Sri Lankans to nudge over the finish line after slipping to 149-8.“Everyone has to accept responsibility today. The batters, particularly in the middle order, didn’t build on a pretty good platform at halfway.
We were 100 for two and identified that 225-230 would have been a good score. We gave our wickets away too cheaply,” he told the Jamaica Observer during a post-match interview.
“In the field, although the bowlers worked very hard to defend the score — particularly Beaton, Cottrell and Cornwall — we bowled too many wides, gave up too many extra runs and dropped a couple of very straightforward catches and had a few misfields,” West explained.
The West Indies ‘A’ team coach, who saw his team lose the preceding “Test” series 1-2, stressed the need for improvement today.His opposite number Avishka Gunawardene was pleased with the win, but dissatisfied with how his team batted.
Earlier, West Indies A won the toss and opted to take first strike.After being 67 without loss and later 105-2, they were bowled out for a disappointing score with opener Montcin Hodge leading the way with a fluent 54 from 69 deliveries. He struck four fours and a six.The burly Cornwall propped up the lower middle-order with 43-ball 37 as no other batsman reached 20. West Indies A batsman Sunil Ambris, who scored two centuries during the “Test” series, made only 16.
Sri Lanka ‘A’ pacer Lahiru Kumara and slow left-arm orthodox bowler Amila Aponso claimed 3-26 and 3-34, respectively. Another left-arm finger spinner Malinda Pushpakumara, who terrorised the West Indies A batsmen in the longer format, and the seamer Chamika Karunaratne accounted for two wickets each.
The hosts made early inroads with the ball and had Sri Lanka ‘A’ in trouble at 83-5 as left-armer Cottrell, who got the new ball to swing extravagantly into the right-handers, and the accurate Beaton laid siege.But Charith Asalanka, who was dropped twice, made a patient 33 off 78 balls, and left-hander Shehan Jayasuriya piloted the visitors’ lower order with a composed 31 not out from 42 balls as both teams suffered from nervous moments in the run-chase. Player of the match Aponso ended unbeaten on 16.
Cottrell took 4-44, while Cornwall and Beaton ended with figures of 2-31 and 1-32, respectively.
The final match of the series is at Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium Sunday.
West Indies A (maximum 50 overs)
M Hodge c Silva b Pushpakumara 54
J Campbell c and b Pushpakumara 13
S Brooks lbw b Aponsu 14
S Ambris c Kumara b Aponsu 16
A McCarthy c Asalanka b Aponsu 6
*+J Hamilton b Kumara 6
R Cornwall c Jayasuriya b Karunaratne 37
K Mayers b Kumara 0
D Jacobs b Kumara 10
R Beaton c and b Karunaratne 1
S Cottrell not out 4
Extras (lb4, w3, nb8) 15
TOTAL (all out, 48.4 overs) 176
Fall of wickets: 1-67, 2-77, 3-105, 4-107,
5-112, 6-133, 7-133, 8-162, 9-167
Bowling: Kumara 7.4-0-26-3 (nb5, w1);
Jayasuriya 5-2-7-0 (w1); De Silva 3-0-
11-0; Amila Aponsu 10-2-34-3 (nb1);
Karunaratne 7-0-36-02 (nb2, w1);
Pushpakumara 10-0-35-2; Hasaranga
Sri Lanka A (target: 177 off 50 overs)
+S Weerakkody c Ambris b Beaton 7
N Karunanayake c Brooks b Cornwall 24
R Silva b Cottrell 4
*D de Silva b Cottrell 12
C Asalanka c Brooks b Cottrell 33
W Hasaranga lbw b Cornwall 6
C Karunaratne c Mayers b Cottrell 14
S Jayasuriya not out 31
M Pushpakumara b Mayers 11
A Aponso not out 16
Extras (w23) 23
TOTAL (8 wkts, 48 overs) 181
Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-18, 3-45, 4-61,
5-83, 6-118, 7-126, 8-149
Bowling: Cottrell 10-1-44-4 (w6); Beaton
10-3-32-1 (w5); Mayers 9-1-37-1 (w4);
Cornwall 10-2-31-2 (w7); Jacobs 5-0-26-
0; Campbell 4-0-11-0 (w1)
Result: Sri Lanka “A” won by two wickets
Series: Sri Lanka “A” lead three-match
Toss: Windies “A”
Player-of-the-Match: A Aponsu (Sri Lanka
Umpires: V Smith, C Taylor
Match Referee: M Ragoonath
Reserve Umpire: R Samuels