Hasaranga shames the ‘super pros’ | Sunday Observer

Hasaranga shames the ‘super pros’

Wanindu Hasaranga celebrates after Sri Lanka beat  the West Indies by one wicket at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) ground in Colombo yesterday. (Photo by Ishara S. KODIKARA / AFP)
Wanindu Hasaranga celebrates after Sri Lanka beat the West Indies by one wicket at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) ground in Colombo yesterday. (Photo by Ishara S. KODIKARA / AFP)

Promising youngster Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva put to shame Sri Lanka’s highest paid cricketers as he led his team to a stunning one wicket victory over the West Indies in the first ODI at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground in Colombo yesterday.

When it looked like almost everything and the match was lost, the 22-year old Hasaranga was like the boy who stood on the burning deck as he smashed a whirlwind unbeaten 42 while Sri Lanka chased down a target of 290.

It was a batting finish not seen for some time that brought into question the existence of the oldest pro in the team Angelo Mathews who lasted just a mere four balls and the recalled Thisara Perera, the crowd favourite who lives by the sword and dies by the sword. What separated Thisara Perera from Hasaranga was that the latter also showcased his brains to stay and finish off a match in a trying situation just when Sri Lanka wanted a hero.

If not for Hasaranga, a century (111) opening stand between Dimuth Karunaratne and the other young Avishka Fernando would have been blown up as wickets kept tumbling and the West Indies gained a foothold in their defence of the total while sniffing victory at the far end through some excellent catching in the outfield.

The West Indies in their quest to wrap up the game were also thwarted in their strides by as many as 13 wide balls and the same number of extra deliveries after opener Shai Hope lifted them with an imposing 115.

The Sri Lankans as a team made the customary start of gaining the upper hand as they conceded a miserly 31 runs off the first ten overs after inviting the West Indies to bat first.

But after curtailing the West Indies in the first ten overs, Sri Lanka leaked away 94 runs in the final ten overs while seam bowler Isuru Udana, who kept the batting line-up in check by picking up three crucial wickets, gave away 33 runs in his last two overs to finish with figures of 3 for 82 off his ten overs.

As many as 59 runs came off the last five overs as tail-end batsmen Hayden Walsh and Keemo Paul plundered 50 runs in 20 balls. But it was Darren Bravo who threatened to tear Sri Lanka apart when he joined Hope at the fall of the first wicket and greeted both Udana and Mathews with two towering straight sixes.

There was only one way that Sri Lanka could have seen the back of him and it came appropriately through a suicidal run-out as Bravo at the non-striker’s end attempted to force a single after Hope hit the ball into the hands of Kusal Mendis who flung it back to Lakshan Sandakan the bowler to break the stumps.

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