COLOMBO: Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan hit half-centuries as hosts Sri Lanka beat West Indies by nine wickets in a warm-up game ahead of the World Twenty20.
Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to field, getting their first breakthrough early in the innings when Nuwan Kulasekara bowled Dwayne Smith for five. Skipper Jayawardene (57*) and opener Dilshan (50*) put on 103 for the second-wicket to help their team achieve a 133-run target with 26 balls to spare. The Sri Lankan captain smashed two sixes and six fours in his 35-ball knock while Dilshan’s 38-ball innings contained one six and five boundaries.
The West Indies batsmen attacked in spurts, but could not maintain their assaults as Sri Lanka prised regular wickets through disciplined bowling. The low NCC wicket did not help timing, nor did it allow the West Indies’ hitters to achieve the elevation they might have preferred.
Johnson Charles (30), Darren Bravo (29) and Kieron Pollard (28*) were the main scorers for the West Indies, who rested star opener Chris Gayle.
Sri Lanka are in Group C of the preliminary league with South Africa and Zimbabwe. The West Indies are in Group B with Australia and Ireland.
Ireland shock Zimbabwe
Meanwhile, in another warm-up match, Ireland cruised to an easy 54-run victory over Zimbabwe with wicketkeeper-batsman Niall O’Brien cracking a 49-ball 62 with the help of two sixes and four boundaries.
Ireland scored 181 for five off 20 overs before restricting Zimbabwe to 127 for eight, with paceman Alex Cusack finishing with three for six off three overs and left-arm spinner George Dockrell with three for 28 from four overs. Kevin O’Brien, brother of Niall, hit a brisk unbeaten 30 off 14 balls while Ed Joyce contributed 29 for Ireland. Opener Hamilton Masakadza top-scored for Zimbabwe with 44, hitting two sixes and five fours.
Both teams will face Bangladesh in their final warm-up match before the tournament begins.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2012.
More in PakistanCricket: Broad upbeat after England down Proteas