T20 World Cup: Sri Lanka knock Windies out with emphatic win

By Sports Desk November 04, 2021

Charith Asalanka further enhanced his burgeoning reputation as Sri Lanka ended West Indies' reign as T20 World Cup holders with a 20-run victory on Thursday.

The Windies needed two resounding wins to have any chance of reaching the semi-finals, but a third loss from four games dashed the holders' hopes of qualifying.

Asalanka (68 from 41 balls) became the leading run-scorer in the tournament as Sri Lanka posted an imposing 189-3 at Zayed Cricket Stadium.

Pathum Nissanka (51 from 41) and Asalanka put on 91 for the second wicket, with the Windies bowling attack lacking potency in a must-win game.

Dasun Shanaka also made a quickfire unbeaten 25 for a Sri Lanka side already out of the running to qualify from Group 1.

The holders fell short on 169-8 in their run chase despite a T20I-best of 81 not out off 54 balls for Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran's 46 in their penultimate match of the Super 12 stage in Abu Dhabi.

Sri Lanka were excellent in the field, Wanindu Hasaranga (2-19) once again the pick of the bowlers as they moved two points ahead of fifth-placed West Indies with a victory in their final game of the tournament.

A third loss from four matches for the two-time champions ensured the Windies will head home after facing Australia on Saturday, leaving Aaron Finch's side, leaders England and South Africa to fight it out for a top-two finish.

 

Asalanka and Nissanka leave Windies facing tall order

A semi-final spot proved to be beyond Sri Lanka, but they bow out with positives to take from the tournament, Asalanka and Nissanka standout performers with the bat.

The 24-year-old Asalanka struck a brilliant unbeaten 80 in the defeat of Bangladesh and gave another demonstration of his class, hitting a six and finding the rope eight times.

Asalanka moved above England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler - who has only been at the crease four times - to become the highest run-scorer in the tournament so far with 231 at an average of 46.20 from six innings and Nassanka is second with 221, averaging 27.62 from eight knocks.

 

Hetmyer fireworks in vain as Sri Lanka sign off in style

With Chris Gayle falling for only one, Andre Russell only making two and captain Kieron Pollard out for a golden duck, it was left for Hetmyer and Pooran to give the Windies some hope.

The defending champions never really looked like chasing down their target, but Hetmyer produced some fireworks as he blasted four sixes and hit eight fours.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Chamika Karunaratne took brilliant catches, with Sri Lanka superb in the field. Hasaranga, the top-ranked T20I bowler in the world, leads the way in the tournament with 16 wickets.

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