HomeAnalysisSri Lanka Dismantle Windies, Clinch Series As Pollard's Men...

Sri Lanka Dismantle Windies, Clinch Series As Pollard’s Men Offer Abject Surrender

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A miserable batting performance by West Indies, saw the visitors succumb to a 161-run defeat against the hosts Sri Lanka in the 2nd ODI at Hambantota. The loss being West Indies’ biggest defeat in terms of runs against Sri Lanka.
The Hambantota wicket initially seemed anything but run-producing, especially at the back of Sheldon Cottrell’s brilliant opening spell- that removed Karunaratne and Perera. However, a sensational batting effort by the Sri Lankans eventually saw them post challenging 345 runs in 50 overs.
Nowadays, a 300-plus score is rarely insurmountable,  least for a West Indian line-up, even though Hetmyer and Lewis were missing.
But the tall batting order didn’t help the West Indies cause one bit. More so, on the same wicket where not the experienced of Lankan batsmen smashed arguably two of the finest hundreds in the modern game against the Caribbean side.
Exceptional spin bowling by Hasarnaga and Sandakan exposed the chinks in the Windies’ armor.
That being said, let’s visit the key talking points and crunch moments that formed the heart of a fantastic team triumph for the hosts during Sri Lanka vs Windies 2nd ODI 2020:

Fernando and Mendis Make Merry Against Clueless Windies Bowling

Sri Lanka vs Windies 2nd ODI
Few things are as delightful as seeing two young and talented batsmen lifting their teams up during adversity.
Cottrell’s brilliant first spell had almost put Sri Lanka on the backfoot when  Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis rescued the side. So much so that their mercurial 239 run stand- laden with 20 boundaries collectively- upended the context of the game.
The century was all the more significant for Sri Lanka’s rescuers. Kusal Mendis, who currently has 2112 ODI runs in 75 ODIs, had last struck an ODI ton back in 2017. The century came just at right time for the talented Sri Lankan batsman.
He was equally supported by yet another promising talent, Avishka Fernando, at the other end. Fernando in the process notched up his second ODI hundred in a 17 innings young career.

Hope errs but scores most for his Windies

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Sri Lanka vs Windies 2nd ODI
West Indies got off to a good start. However, Hope who been dropped on 32 by Sandakan, didn’t last for long to carry Windies into a dominant position. He was the top scorer for the West Indies
And despite notching up yet another half-century, this being the 16th of his ODI career, Hope didn’t really leave with the happiest memories during Sri Lanka vs Windies 2nd ODI 2020, especially having been involved in another run-out.
This time being responsible for leaving Ambris in a no man’s land, after being involved in opening ODI mess that sent Bravo- 39 in his returning game- back to the dugout.
That said, for someone who just a few hours ago struck an incredible 6th ODI ton in Asian conditions, his 9th overall courtesy of his 115 off 140- was the lone scorer for Windies on a forgettable day.
That being said, here’s what Pollard and his team may want to think about:
That the side were dismissed for an underwhelming and sub-par total. But just wonder how many runs would the team have ended up scoring with no fewer than 65 deliveries left to play. Sri Lanka dislodged Pollard’s unit precisely on the first ball of the 40th over.

Hasaranga: The Destroyer

Sri Lanka vs Windies 2nd ODI
It would be impossible to paint the entirety of what transpired during Sri Lanka vs Windies 2nd ODI 2020 without touching upon the significance of the man who triggered the eventual Windies collapse.
Before Wanindu Hasaranga entered the Hambantota contest, he had already starred in 13 ODIs from which the vastly-talented leg break bowler captured as many wickets.
But his resume, upon the completion of his fourteenth ODI, was boosted by a massive improvement, amplified by a game-changing bowling spell in the form of his 3-for from 10 overs that got the key wickets of Bravo, who couldn’t read a sharply turning delivery, captain Pollard who vanished soon as he arrived for a first-ball duck and, Jason Holder.
That wasn’t all.
Supporting the 22-year-old Galle-born bowler was Sandakan with his foxy left-arm spinners that earned a brilliant return of 3 for 57, including the big wicket of the dangerous Nicholas Pooran, who departed for 31 and stayed put for a bit before walking back, the last of West Indies’ dangerous game-changers on a  day where the batting lacked the zeal and application as exhibited by the Sri Lankans.

Are The West Indies’ Seniors Truly Playing Like One?

Sri Lanka vs Windies 2nd ODI
Impossible as it may seem to believe, but before arriving in Sri Lanka- captain Kieron Pollard’s highest-individual score against the island nation had been a pitiable 4.
Not that he succeeded at changing it drastically, scoring 9 off 6 deliveries in a low outing at Colombo, a game earlier.
But at Hambantota- the occasion for West Indies to change the tide of the series that now rests with their opponents- Pollard was expected to deliver.
Instead, failing to read the dangerous Hasaranga’s googly in scoring a first-ball duck, the Windies captain walked back finding himself amid the hapless dugout within seconds of his arrival to the middle.
Not the most pleasing side for a man who had challenged a far more dangerous opponent than the one he failed against, just a few months ago right?
Anyone who saw Pollard taking the life out of India’s bowling attack during his 51-ball-74 (Cuttack), a knock that featured 7 sixes albeit ending at the wrong side of the result would’ve expected more from the Trinidadian.
This, by the way, is a proven ODI exponent with as many as 112 ODIs against his name.
What was woeful from that fan’s perspective- one who saw the Windies fail to secure a single win even the last time around, in 2015 was that the medium-pacer went for 29 off his 3 earlier.
That’s not all.
On a day where little belonged to the West Indies, former captain Jason Holder- with 114 ODIs against his name- let the team down in both departments of the game.
At a time where the famous Barbadian could’ve attacked the Sri Lankans, draining them for runs, in aiding Sheldon Cottrell- the 28-year-old went for 59 off his 8 overs and later, added insult to Windies’ injury by making 3 with the bat.
The question is- is that really how good Jason Holder is, this being the scorer of an incredible and perhaps uplifting match-winning double hundred, which led to a 381-run win for his team?
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