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ICC Men's T20 WC 2021 - Super 12 - Hetmyer's 81* in vain; SL beat WI by 20 runs as batters dazzle

Asalanka - Nissanka put up 91-run match defining stand for the second wicket for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka 189/3 in 20 overs (Asalanka 68, Nissanka 51; Russell 2/33) defeat West Indies 169/8 in 20 overs (Hetmyer 81*, Pooran 46; Fernando 2/24, Hasaranga 2/19) by 20 runs

ICC Men's T20 WC 2021 - WI vs SL - Hetmyer's 81* in vain; Sri Lanka beat WI by 20 runs as batters dazzle. Charith Asalanka (68) declared Man of the match. (©ICC/GettyImages)
Charith Asalanka and Pathum Nissanka put up 91-run stand for Sri Lanka (©ICC/GettyImages)

West Indies and Sri Lanka squared off in the 35th game of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 on Thursday. The match took place at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

West Indies were always going to be up against a stiff challenge of being motivated coming into the game after two losses in three games. Winning the toss barely ensured they could deflect the calamitous outcome for them in the match as they chose to field first on a batter-friendly surface.

Sri Lanka effectively foiled the chances of the Caribbean team for making it into the playoffs, eliminating them from the competition.

Sri Lanka got off to a good start

Getting to bat first came as a blessing in disguise for the Sri Lankan side as the openers Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Perera got off to a roaring start. The first time Sri Lankan openers got a steady start to their innings in the tournament so far.

Both the openers kept the run flow at 7 runs per over. The duo weaved a well-coordinated opening stand before all-rounder Andre Russell gave West Indies their first breakthrough in the 6th over. He dismissed Kusal Perera with a brilliant catch in his follow through for 29 runs, and Sri Lanka lost their first wicket on 42 runs. New batter Charith Asalanka came to the middle and added 6 runs including a boundary as Sri Lanka scored 48/1 at the end of the powerplay.

Asalanka anchored SL innings

Charith Asalanka, the man in form for Sri Lanka, proceeded in the innings with the same approach which he did in the previous outings but failed to convert it into a really big one. He punished West Indies bowlers, hitting them all over the park for boundaries. On the other hand, Nissanka played like a responsible opener and maintained a healthy run-rate with regular boundaries.

Sri Lanka crossed the 100-run mark in the 12th over with 9 wickets still in hand and an opportunity to go for a big total. Their quest was very well in control until Nissanka reached his 3rd half-century in the T20Is which was his second fifty in the ongoing T20I World Cup. But he departed in the 16th over by fending the ball towards the cow corner to Shimron Hetmyer off Dwayne Bravo’s over for 51 runs. Sri Lanka had now lost their second wicket on 133 runs in 15.3 overs.

However, Asalanka on the other end continued with his gleaming form as he took on all the Caribbean bowlers during his knock. He was finally dismissed by Andre Russell who chipped in with his 2nd wicket in the match. Asalanka smashed 68 runs studded with 8 boundaries and a six and anchored his side’s innings in the game. First-off, he stitched a 91-run partnership with Nissanka, followed by a 46-run stand with the skipper Dasun Shanaka who scored an unbeaten 25* runs.

Sri Lanka posted 189/3 after 20 overs and put a competitive total against West Indies.

Read More: ICC T20 WC 2021 - Super 12 - WI steal win from jaws of defeat; Bangladesh eliminated from tourney