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Sri Lanka aim to sweep series, West Indies to play for pride

Hosts Sri Lanka will aim to sweep the series when they take on West Indies in the last encounter of the two-match Twenty20 series on Friday in Colombo.

Sri Lanka Cricket Board has brought forward the second T20 against West Indies to November 11, after the original date of November 12 was declared a day of mourning by president Maithripala Sirisena.

It has been a demoralising tour for the visitors who have struggled against the Lankan lions and are yet to register a win against the Island nation across all formats.

Sri Lanka’s 2-0 Test rout which was followed by the 3-0 win in the ODI series and a victory in the first T20 on Monday proved once again that the hosts are among the strongest teams to beat when it comes to playing in their backyard.

In the 1st T20, Tillakaratne Dilshan hit a half-century and offspinner Sachithra Senanayake took a career-best four wickets to lead Sri Lanka to a comfortable 30-run win over the visitors.

Asked to bat first, Sri Lanka made 215 for 3 in 20 overs with Dilshan smashing 56 off 37 deliveries. In reply, West Indies were bowled out for 185 with a ball to spare.

Andre Fletcher hit six sixes and three fours for his 25-ball 57 but the Sri Lankan bowlers took timely wickets to prevent an upset.

The visitors, who have nothing to lose now, except their pride. The arrival of Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and T20 skipper Darren Sammy has surely boosted their confidence but the big names failed prove their worth and infuse confidence into the team.

However, the West Indies have a lot to ponder over. Proven T20 players like Bravo, Pollard, Sammy failed to deliver the meaty blows when it mattered and looked out of sorts in front of the Sri Lankan attack comprising Lasith Malinga, Senanayake and Milinda Siriwardana.

Even debutant Dushmantha Chameera showed a lot of promise with his extra pace in the first match.

West Indies bowlers have also bowled poor line and length right throughout the series and failed to keep the Sri Lankan batsmen under check. Apart from Pollard, who returned with 2 wickets, none of their bowlers delivered in Pallekele.

The visitors’ confidence has also taken a hit after their best spinner Sunil Narine was reported for a suspect bowling action. Narine will need to undergo tests within 14 days as per the ICC instruction.

Narine, 27, was reported after the first ODI against Sri Lanka, where he went wicket-less in the 19-run defeat for the West Indies

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