Hasaranga Also Keeps The Nerves, Such As Sri Lanka Seal A Taut Hunting > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Hasaranga holds his nerve as Sri Lanka seal tense chase

Wanindu Hasaranga's unbeaten 42 helped Sri Lanka to a thrilling one-wicket win

Wanindu Hasaranga's unbeaten 42 helped Sri Lanka to a thrilling one-wicket win

Sri Lanka and West Indies took turns to use momentum as a binary entity, passing it to each other through the length of their six-hour encounter at the SSC Colombo, before 22-year-old Wanindu Hasaranga, hailed "a great prospect" by new coach Mickey Arthur, displayed temperament that belied his age and experience to give Sri Lanka a thrilling one-wicket victory.

On the scorebook, four other players scored more runs than the 42 Hasaranga scored batting at No. 8 for Sri Lanka in a chase of 290, but none of the others so decisively impacted the game as his did. Because, West Indies appeared to have yanked the proverbial pendulum their way when they dismissed the hard-hitting Thisara Perera and later Isuru Udana. Sri Lanka needed 25 more to get from 24 but Hasaranga had only Lakshan Sandakan and Nuwan Pradeep left to bat with. Without any undue risk, he closed the chase out with five balls to spare thereby registering the highest successful chase at the famous venue.

When the dust settles on this game, Sri Lanka will introspect whether this game ought to have even gone this far after openers Avishka Fernando (50) and Dimuth Karunaratne (52) polished off 111 runs off the target with their strong opening-wicket partnership. But, just like momentum there is also the intangible effect of confidence, or the lack of it, synonymous with Sri Lanka's fortunes in the ODI format.

Karunaratne was unfairly ruled out caught-behind but just a ball after being reprieved by the DRS, he attempted a similar waft off Holder and this time got a thick piece of wood on the way to the 'keeper. Avishka Fernando was then strangled down the leg side after displaying his off-side prowess for a majority of his knock. Weirdly, those two dismissals were enough to move straight into panic station.

Kusal Mendis hit Roston Chase for a sublime cut-away four and a lofted six and in the same sequence of play, hit a full toss to mid-on for a catch. Angelo Mathews nicked one behind with a wild waft, Kusal Perera middled a slog pull straight to mid-wicket and Dhananjaya pushed himself into a corner and subsequently into a lazy loft to long-off. Sri Lanka alarmingly slipped to a situation where they required 75 off 74 when young Hasaranga walked into the SSC cauldron of expectation.

Kieron Polllard had held back Hayden Walsh Jr. until the 27th over and how Sri Lanka played the leggie in the end game was going to be central to the final result. Nothing in Hasaranga's audacious cut shot from deep inside the crease suggested that Walsh had two wickets - De Silva and Mendis - from his first four overs. It was a shot that allowed to break Sri Lanka's self-imposed shackles and break free. Hasaranga then pulled away Keemo Paul for a nonchalant six, opening the stage for Thisara Perera to begin a counter attack.

Perera laid into Walsh in the following over and in a matter of two overs, Pollard's big plan was undone. The equation was down to 37 off 44. But in keeping with the theme of the game, Sri Lanka duly passed the momentum back to West Indies. Perera fell for a 22-ball 32, pulling a rank short delivery from Alzarri Joseph straight to mid-wicket. Udana bagged a five-ball duck and the onus was on Hasaranga to take the team home.

He did so, rather impressively, farming the strike and chossing his attacks wisely. He went after the off-colour Sheldon Cottrell (0 for 69) by hitting him through and over the cover fielder for successive boundaries, bringing the equation down to 13 off 18. He then played out three dots off Keemo Paul, received a run for a wide and took a single off the fourth to give Sandakan just two balls to survive. West Indies panicked in the face of Hasaranga's calm and served up a glut of extras. Another four past backward point off Cottrell in the final over effectively closed out the chase, which was completed off a no-ball despite Sandakan's late run-out.

Earlier in the day, West Indies who were put in to bat on an uncharacteristically grassy surface got to a competitive score of 289 thanks to a ninth ODI century from Shai Hope and excellent lower-order finishing from Keemo Paul and Walsh. Hope scored 115 off 140 but his circumspect approach was vindicated in the face of a great opening burst from Thisara Perera and Nuwan Pradeep.

Hope put on 77 for the second wicket with Darren Bravo and another important stand with Roston Chase and held fort during a tepid phase through the middle as Pooran and Pollard fell in quick succession. His innings allowed Paul and Walsh the luxury of free swings at the death, which they capitalised to plunder 69 from the final six overs. Those extra runs should have been enough for Pollard's team if they'd just kept their nerve with the ball. They didn't, Hasaranga did and therefore it is Sri Lanka who will carry the 1-0 lead to Hambantota.

Brief scores: West Indies 289/7 in 50 overs (Shai Hope 115, Roston Chase 41; Isuru Udana 3-82) lost to Sri Lanka 290/9 in 49.1 overs (Dimuth Karunaratne 52, Avishka Fernando 50, Wanindu Hasaranga 42*; Alzarri Joseph 3-42) by 1 wicket.

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