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CWC Qualifier: Sri Lanka spinners rattle West Indies batting line-up to register dominant victory

Harare [Zimbabwe], July 7 (ANI): With a dominant all-round performance, Sri Lanka rattled West Indies to register an 8-wicket victory at the Harare Sports Club on Friday in the Cricket World Cup Qualifier and finish unbeaten in the Super Six stage.

Sri Lanka openers once again provided the ideal start with Pathum Nissanka showing his explosive intent right from the start. The target looked well short in front of the calibre of the opening pair as both batters safely negotiated the initial tricky period.

In the chase of 244, Karunaratne played the perfect fit to Nissanka's aggressive approach and the duo went past 100 runs quite easily. Nissanka got to his 10th ODI fifty in the process.

West Indies finally managed to put a break on their unbeaten opening stand in the 34th over. Kevin Sinclair got the breakthrough by dismissing Nissanka for 104. By the time West Indies managed to get the breakthrough, the fate of the game was already decided.

The 190-run partnership took away the entire match leaving little space for the Caribbean team to make a comeback. Karunaratne followed the footsteps of his opening partner in the 37th over falling short of the three-digit mark by 17 runs.

Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama applied the finishing touches to seal off an impressive victory.

Earlier in the game, the West Indies top-order had no answer in reply to the spin of Maheesh Theekshana, with Brandon King, Shamarh Brooks and skipper Shai hope all perishing by the hands of him.

Matheesha Pathirana and Dushmantha Hemantha entered the game, by picking up the wickets of dangerous batters Johnson Charles and Nicholas Pooran.

West Indies further received blows against spin as Sahan Arachchige cleaned up Kyle Mayers, which was followed by Hemantha scalping his second by trapping Roston Chase in front of the stumps for a score of 1.

This left a massive task on the upcoming batters Keacy Carty and Romario Shepherd. West Indies were stuck at 127/7 in the 30th over. Carty first paired with Shepherd to take West Indies past the 150-run mark and then brought up his half-century. Even as wickets continued to fall at the other end, Carty pressed on to take his team towards a respectable total.

He was eventually the last wicket to fall on a score of 87 with West Indies getting bowled out for a total of 243. Theekshana was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka with impressive figures of 4/34.

Even after opting to keep Wanindu Hasaranga and Dhananjaya de Silva out of the playing XI, Sri Lanka still managed to run riots with the ball.

Brief Scores: West Indies 243 (Keacy Carty 87(96), Johnson Charles 39(38) and Maheesh Theekshana 4/34) vs Sri Lanka 244/2 (Pathum Nissanka 104(113), Dimuth Karunaratne 83(92) and Kevin Sinclair 1/52). (ANI)