Fernando, Mendis tons help Sri Lanka clinch ODI series with Windies rout

HAMBANTOTA, SRI LANKA (AFP) – Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis hit centuries as Sri Lank thrashed the West Indies by 161 runs in the second one-day international (ODI) to clinch the series on Wednesday night.

Fernando, who blasted 127, and Mendis, who made 119, put on 239 runs in Sri Lanka’s highest third-wicket stand as the hosts amassed 345 for eight after being put into bat in Hambantota.

Wrist spinners Wanindu Hasaranga and Lakshan Sandakan took three wickets each as Sri Lanka bowled out the visitors for 184 in 39.1 overs and take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series after edging the first game by one wicket.

But it was Fernando and Mendis who made Sri Lanka bounce back from nine for two to record their highest ODI total against the West Indies. The island nation also recorded their biggest win in terms of runs against the West Indies.

“The way Kusal and Avishka batted. The intensity is what I’m expecting from the boys. Be confident and play their natural game,” skipper Dimuth Karunaratne said after the win.

“(Wristspinners) are the wicket-taking bowlers. Last few years we didn’t have that in one-day matches, so hopefully they’ll continue in the next matches as well.”

Sheldon Cottrell struck twice on successive balls in the fourth over of the match to send back Karunaratne, for one, and Kusal Perera, for nought in his 100th ODI, before Mendis denied the bowler his hat-trick.

Mendis got one reprieve on two when West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard dropped a simple chance at first slip off Jason Holder. He went on to score his second one-day hundred.

Mendis and Fernando, who hit his career-best ODI score in 123 balls, smashed 22 fours between them. Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph finally claimed the centurions in the space of 14 deliveries, and then bowled former captain Angelo Mathews for one.

Cottrell dented Sri Lanka’s middle-order with the wickets of Thisara Perera, for 36, and Dhananjaya de Silva, for 12, to end with figures of 4-67.

Sri Lanka’s Kusal Mendis (L) and Avishka Fernando run between the wickets during the second ODI cricket match against West Indies. PHOTO: AFP