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Tuesday, 1 February 2011

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First of three one-dayers abandoned:

Barath century only consolation

When the West Indies made 245 for 5 in their 50 overs, with opener Adrian Barath chipping in with an eye-catching century, the first of three one-dayers against Sri Lanka seemed set for some interesting cricket.

But the rains that seem to be accompanying the cricketers from the Caribbean, like excess baggage came down again and the game had to be abandoned without Sri Lanka having to face a ball.

In my preview of the match, I wished for the rains to keep off and not let Duckworth and Lewis don pads and bat for a result. Rain and bad light did not seem to like the Duckworth and Lewis style of play as they hung on for the rest of the playing time to force an abandonment.

The second one-dayer is scheduled for Thursday and it is hoped that the rains will be a sport and allow the game to be played without any hindrance.

Darren Sammy won the toss and elected to bat first in dull light. Windies opened with the left hand, right hand combination of Chris Gayle and Adrian Barath and Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekera shared the new ball.

From the first ball it was obvious that the wicket was on the slow side with the ball not coming on to the bat which did not make stroke making that easy.

With the score on six, Gayle who did not look at ease snicked a Kulasekera away swinger to Sangkkara behind the wicket and went after pushing around for 4.

Darren Bravo joined Barath and took the score to 42 when Bravo was needlessly run out for 9. Barath pushed a ball to leg and Bravo scampered down the wicket for a run that was not there, failed to beat Chamara Kapugedera’s throw from short fine leg to bowler Muttiah Muralitharan who took off the bails with Bravo just out of his ground. Ramnaresh Sarwan who failed to make it with the Test team here joined Barath and together they slowly steadied the innings.

Both batsmen were on the look out for runs which was not easy to get with Malinga and Kulasekera bowling a good line and length and wicket to wicket. But once they got accustomed to the pace and bounce of the wicket, Barath and Sarwan broke out into some lovely stroke play and the runs too were beginning to flow. They hoisted their 50-run stand, then the 100 and the 150 in 170 balls. Barath was first to 50 in 70 balls with 4 fours and then Sarawan to his 50 in 67 balls with one four and a six.

The Lankan bowlers, both pace and spin could not stall the run making. Off spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis who will have to carry the spin attack in the World Cup were not that impressive. With the score on 207, both Barath and Sarwan well in command and the Windies looking at something around 260 to 270 which would have been a challenging total, a sudden rush of blood saw Sarwan mistiming a big hit to be caught by Kapugedera at long on off Malinga for 75 with 4 fours and a six in 100 balls. 207 for 3.

Next ball Barath who completed a magnificent century attempted a similar stroke caught again by Kapugedera off Malinga for 113 with 8 fours and 2 sixes in 129 balls. 207 for 4.

Kieron Pollard from whom spectators were anticipating some lusty hitting failed miserably being bowled by Malinga after making just 4. 215 for 5.

Skipper Darren Sammy and Shiv Chanderpaul saw West Indies to 245 at the completion of 50 overs, when a slight drizzle turned heavy which prompted the covers to be put on and further cricket looked bleak.

 

WEST INDIES:

C. Gayle c Sangakkara b Kulasekara	  4
A. Barath  c Kapugedera b Malinga	113
D. Bravo run out			  8
R. Sarwan  c Kapugedera b Malinga	 75
K. Pollard  b Malinga			  4
S. Chanderpaul  not out			 13
D. Sammy  not out			 21
Extras (lb2, w5)			  7
TOTAL (for five wickets, 50 overs)	245
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Gayle), 2-42 (Bravo), 3-207 (Sarwan), 4-207 (Barath), 5-215 (Pollard).
Bowling: Malinga 10-0-51-3 (w2), Kulasekara 10-2-35-1, Mathews 7-0-35-0, 
Muralitharan 10-0-42-0, Mendis 9-0-50-0 (w3), Kapugedera 2-0-11-0, Dilshan 2-0-19-0.

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