It was a dominating performance by West Indies as they defeated hosts Sri Lanka by 25 runs in the first T20I match played at Palleke International Ground, Kandy on Wednesday.
West Indies captain Kieron Pollard won the toss and decided to bat first. Lendl Simmons and Brandon King got off to a cautious start before Simmons smashed 20 runs off Isuru Udana over. At the end of six overs, West Indies were 58 for 0.
After the power play overs, Simmons and King continued to milk the Sri Lankan bowlers. As things looked dangerous for Sri Lanka, Sandkan struck to get rid of King for 33. West Indies openers added 74 runs. Simmons showed his class with his attacking stroke play while Pooran also played some lovely strokes. Hasaranga struck for Sri Lanka to dismiss Pooran for 14. The hard-hitting Andre Russell came to the crease and just hammered the Sri Lankan spinners for big hits. Lasith Malinga bought himself into attack to dismiss Russell with a brilliant yorker. Russell scored 35 off 14 balls. Simmons and Russell added 39 runs for the 3rd wicket.
Lendl Simmons looked confident with his stroke play and reached his fifty off 31 balls. West Indies captain Kieron Pollard playing his 500th T20 match, smashed 18 runs in the 18th over from Lasith Malinga. In the last over, Kieron Pollard hit a six and became the 2nd batsman to score 10,000 runs in T20 cricket. He was finally dismissed by Udana for a quickfire 34 off 15 balls. Simmons and Pollard added 45 runs for the 5th wicket. Simmons remained not out on 67 and helped West Indies post 197 for 4 in 20 overs.
Oshane Thomas broke the back of Sri Lanka batting line up dismissing Avishka Fernando, Shehan Jayasuriya and Kusal Mendis in the 2nd over. Angelo Mathews and Kusal Perera showed great intent against the West Indies bowlers putting on 24 runs for the 4th wicket. Thomas struck again to get rid of Mathews and then got rid off Shanaka to leave Sri Lanka in big trouble at 56 for 5 at the end of six overs.
Hasaranga continued from where left in the ODI series and made the batting look easy. Both rescued Sri Lankan innings. Perera reached his fifty off 28 balls and gave Sri Lanka hopes of winning. Rovman Powell struck to get rid off Hasranaga for well made 44. Perera and Hasaranga added 87 runs for the 6th wicket. Kusal Perera was looking before being bowled by Andre Russell for a superb 66. It was a tough ask for Sri Lanka as Thisara Perera also went cheaply. Isuru Udana was dismissed by Bravo with a superb catch by Kieron Pollard. Sheldon Cottrell dismissed Lasith Malinga to bowl out Sri Lanka for 171. West Indies won the match by 25 runs.
West Indies 196 for 4 in 20 overs (Lendl Simmons 67*, Andre Russell 35, Hasranga 1/33) beat Sri Lanka 171 in 19.1 overs ( Kusal Perera 66, Hasranga 44, Oshane Thomas 5/28) by 25 runs.
West Indies takes 1-0 lead in the 2 match T20I series. The 2nd match will be played at the same ground on 6th March.