Wanindu Hasaranga superstar in the making – Dasun Shanka
Sri Lanka ended defending champion West Indies’ slim hopes of advancing to the semifinals with an emphatic 20-run victory in their last T20 World Cup game.
Young batters Charith Asalanka (68) and Pathum Nissanka (51) toyed with the seven-man West Indies attack in raising Sri Lanka’s highest total of 189-3 in their final Group 1 game by slamming powerful half-centuries.
In reply, West Indies, which won the toss and elected to field, lost their power hitters cheaply before getting restricted at 169-8.
Shimron Hetmyer narrowed the defeat with a fighting unbeaten 81 off 54 balls, but Sri Lanka always looked favourite to sign off from the tournament on a winning note.
“These youngsters have been working hard, so I’m really happy,” said Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanka. “They worked really hard for this. They have a long career ahead and a lot of good cricket to come.”
The 42-year-old Chris Gayle could score only 1, Andre Russell made only 9 while the world’s new No. 1 T20 bowler, legspinner Wanindu Hasaranga (2-19), clean bowled Dwayne Bravo (1) and captain Kieron Pollard for zero as West Indies lost wickets with regular intervals in a steep chase.
“(Hasaranga) is a gem. He’s a superstar in the making,” Shanaka said. “There’s a lot of cricket to be played, we have to protect him as well (but) as a captain, I back him in every situation.”