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Sri Lanka maintain winning run against West Indies

Sri Lanka maintain winning run against West Indies

(Reuters) – Sri Lanka beat West Indies by 30 runs in the first Twenty20 International on Monday to go 1-0 up in the two-match series and extend the visitors’ losing streak.

Having swept the test and one-day series, Sri Lanka posted a commanding total of 215 for three before bowling out West Indies for 185 to ensure they cannot lose the Twenty20 series.

Put into bat after a rain-delayed start at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Sri Lanka rode a flying start to post their highest score against West Indies in this format of the game.

Tillakaratne Dilshan (56) top-scored, adding 91 runs in an opening stand with Kusal Perera (40) to set the tone for the innings.

Dilshan (1,538) also overtook former captain Mahela Jayawardene (1,493) as Sri Lanka’s highest scorer in Twenty20 Internationals.

After the openers departed, Shehan Jayasuriya chipped in with quick 36 runs to lay the platform for a big total.

Dinesh Chandimal (40 not out) and Angelo Mathews (37 not out) milked 84 runs in the last five overs to take their team past the 200-mark.

West Indies lost Johnson Charles to the second delivery of their innings but Andre Fletcher (57) blasted six sixes in his 25-ball blitz to keep them in the hunt.

Dushmantha Chameera bowled Fletcher with a slower delivery to bring relief for the hosts before Dwayne Bravo (24) and Kieron Pollard (26) briefly rekindled the visitors’ hopes of registering their first win of the tour.

Off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake (4-46) wrecked their middle order, however, and West Indies were bowled out with two balls to spare.

The teams move to Colombo for the final Twenty20 on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Ed Osmond)

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