West Indies turned a leisurely canter into a desperate scramble to achieve a series-clinching five-wicket victory over SriLanka with two balls to spare in the second One-Day International of their three-match series at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Friday.
According to Cricinfo.com, a fourth ODI hundred by Evin Lewis and an elegant supporting 84 by opening partner Shai Hope seemed to have set the home side up for an effortless stroll to the target of 273 as the pair put on 192 for the first wicket.
However, Lewis’ dismissal for 103 in the 38th over triggered a surprising level of indecisiveness with the Sri Lankans coming to life in the final stage of the match as seamers Nuwan Pradeep and Thisara Perera claimed two wickets each.
But when he most needed to be on target, Pradeep’s final two overs were plastered for 28 runs with Nicholas Pooran’s unbeaten 35, which included two boundaries in the last over the match, taking the West Indies to an unbeatable 2-0 lead ahead of the final match at the same venue on Sunday.
Lewis’ hundred, which came off 121 balls and was embellished by eight fours and four sixes, earned him the man of the match award.
“It was a total team performance. Our best chance was chasing so it was good to see the boys sticking to the their plans,” said West Indies captain Kieron Pollard.
Earlier, Danushka Gunathilaka just missed out on a century as Sri Lanka posted a competitive 273 for eight after being put in to bat.