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Dawn 1st ODI: Sri Lanka v West Indies, Match Report
Ilyas Beg - 1 November 1997

Sri Lanka record convincing win

Lahore, Nov 1: A highly-responsible fourth wicket partnership of 171 runs on 159 balls in 135 minutes between Captain Arjuna Ranatunga and Roshan Mahanama helped Sri Lanka register an emphatic seven-wicket win over the West Indies on opening day of the Quadrangular Floodlit Cricket Tournament at the Qadhafi Stadium on Saturday.

Replying to not-so-formidable total of 237 for 8, the Sri Lankan side was struggling at 69 for three, having lost Marvin Atapattu (caught Hooper in second slip off Walsh after scoring one), Sanath Jayasuriya (caught Lewis at mid-wicket boundary off Hooper after contributing 24) and Aravinda de Silva (caught Chanderpaul off Rose after scoring 13). when Ranatunga and Mahanama got together for the rescue act. Both batted very confidently to take Sri Lanka to a creditable win and at no stage were bothered by the West Indian bowlers.

Mahanama remained not out at 94, hitting a huge six and five boundaries. He stayed at the crease for 186 minutes and played 112 balls. Captain Ranatunga led his side brilliantly besides hitting a very useful knock of 87 not out which included eight brilliant boundaries. He played 90 balls in his stay of 135 minutes at the crease and made the Sri Lankan win look so easy. He was adjudged ``Man-of-the-Match''.

Earlier, brilliant batting by the world's greatest batsman Brian Lara saved the West Indies side from a complete disaster, when Sri Lanka's Captain Arjuna Ranatuga won the toss but put opposing team in to bat on a slow pitch totally devoid of grass. Lara was involved in two most productive partnerships of the West Indies innings after it has lost opener Stuart Williams (5) at the total of 16. Williams had failed to middle the ball properly which flew straight to Arjuna Ranatunga in gully, who caught it gleefully.

The Sri Lankan bowlers bowled with a plan, giving nothing away. They were well backed up by agile fielders, who did not allow the West Indian batsmen to hit many boundaries.However, Lara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul started to repair the West Indies innings in a cool and confident manner. After taking team out of trouble Brian Lara opened out to play his natural shots. His drives and cuts were a treat to watch. Lara and Chanderpaul added 82 invaluable runs in second wicket partnership on 152 balls, consuming 98 minutes. At the total of 98, Chanderpaul went back on an off-break of Aravinda de Silva, missed line of the ball completely and was declared leg before wicket by umpire Javed Akhtar. The solid opener Chanderpaul hit one four in his sedateknock of 42. He played 86 balls and occupied the crease for 113 minutes.

Lara found another good partner in Carl Hooper. Lara deflected a delivery from Jayasuriya to complete his 32nd half-century in international one-day matches. A small crowd of about five thousand clapped joyfully and the diminutive batsman waved his bat in a cknowledgement. Both Lara and Hooper added 74 precious runs on 75 balls in only 52 minutes to strengthen the West Indies innings. Lara was at his best and on a couple of occasions even jumped out of his crease dangerously but survived stumping chances. Lara missed a full length leg-break from left-arm spinner Sanath Jayasuriya and looked back at his off and middle stump rattled. Lara hit eight exquisitely-timed boundaries in West Indies top score of 80. Lara stayed at the crease for 151 minutes and faced 108 balls. The third wicket fell at the total of 172.

Fourth wicket partnership between Hooper and Phil Simmons yielded another 49 useful runs. Both carried the total to 221 before being separated. At that stage, Simmons was caught by Muralitharan at mid-off as he tried to hit left-arm paceman Chaminda Vaas out of ground. Simmons scored 20.

The following West Indies batsmen panicked and perished in quick succession. Last four West Indian wickets fell with addition of only 17 runs in 24 deliveries. Credit must be given to the Sri Lankan fielders and bowlers who had tied them down. Hooper's excellent knock ended at his individual score of 68. He snicked a ball from the other left-arm paceman Sanjeeva de Silva to be caught by wicketkeeper Lanka de Silva. Incidentally, Hooper hit Jayasuriya for a huge six on last ball of the 43rd over. He also hit five fine boundaries in his stay of 81 minutes at the wicket in which he played 61 balls. Hooper got out at the total of 228.

Franklyn Rose (1) was run out at the total of 229 as Sanjeeva de Silva collected a throw and whipped off the bails. After an addition of three more runs. Roland Holder (2) was also run out. A direct throw by Ranatunga from cover flattened his stumps. At the total of 237, David Williams was yorked by Sanjeeva de Silva on last ball of the 50th over. The West Indies team scored 237 for 8 in 310 minutes.

Source: Dawn
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