Sri Lanka A 318 (Weerakkody 79, K Perera 69, Johnson 4-65) and 257 for 6 dec. (Gunaratne 69) beat West Indies A 243 (Hetmyer 94, Brooks 54) and 194 (Vandersay 6-47) by 138 runs
Legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay took 6 for 47 in the final innings to lead Sri Lanka A to victory in Dambulla. West Indies A were set a target of 333 but with no one even managing a fifty, the hosts wrapped up a 138-run victory, and with it the series 2-1.
The chase had begun positively with Kieran Powell, who had briefly flirted with a career in baseball, back at the top of the order and kicking things off with a 41-ball 44. West Indies A were 124 for 3 – chugging along at a run-rate just under four – when Vandersay blitzed through their middle order to bowl them out for 194. He took two wickets in the 48th over, including that of captain and top-scorer Shamarh Brooks for 46, handed the opposition five of their six single-digit scores and completed his ninth five-for in 29 first-class matches.
While the bowling they faced was good, West Indies A would rue the fact that they collapsed from reasonably strong positions. In the first innings they had Shimron Hetmyer – 94 off 91 balls, with 17 fours – and Brooks – 54 off 100 balls – doing well before they lost eight wickets for 104 runs to concede a lead of 75. In the second innings, West Indies lost seven wickets for 70 runs to concede the match.
Another measure of where West Indies A lost the match lay in the number of partnerships over 50. There were eight overall – and they contributed only two of them.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka A had begun the game with an agenda-setting 133-run stand between openers Kusal Perera (69) and Sandun Weerakkody (79) in the first innings. It was key to building a total of 318.
Then fast bowler Kasun Madushanka and left-arm wristspinner Lakshan Sandakan took three wickets each and left-arm seamer Lahiru Gamage chipped in with two of his own to bowl West Indies A out for 243. All three were picked in Sri Lanka’s Test squad to play against Zimbabwe in Harare next Saturday.
Sri Lanka A swelled a lead of 75 to match-and-series-winning proportions in their second innings with Weerakkody smacking 48 off 36 balls and Asela Gunaratne collecting 69 off 126 balls.Rahkeem Cornwall was the only opposition they faced, the offspinner picking up 4 for 87 from 26 overs to finish with 23 wickets from three matches.