High on confidence after their emphatic victory over England, the West Indies cricket team opted to bowl first after skipper Darren Sammy won the toss against Sri Lanka in the Super 10 Group 1 clash at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru on 20 March.
Samuel Badree (3/12) and Dwayne Bravo (2/20) were the pick of the bowlers for the Calypso kings who managed to restrict the Lankans to a modest total of 122 runs. For the defending champions, Thisara Perera (40) played a crucial innings while Angelo Mathews (20), too, chipped in with a pivotal partnership.
The Windies made one change to their playing XI, bringing in Andre Fletcher for Jerome Taylor for today's clash. On the other hand, captain Angelo Mathews ,too, confirmed one change for the Lankans as Jeffrey Vandersay replaces Shehan Jayasuriya for the defending champions.
The Lankans got off to a breezy start after Tillakaratne Dilshan (12) smashed a consecutive six and a four off Andre Russell in the very first over. However, Badree and Sulieman Benn bowled economical second and third overs respectively to keep the Lankans in check.
Looking for an early breakthrough, Sammy tossed the bowl to Carlos Brathwaite who didn't disappoint his captain and struck on the very first ball of his spell. It was unlucky on Dilshan's part to be ruled out LBW by the umpire when the replays suggested that the ball was missing the leg stump by some distance.
Dinesh Chandimal (16) soon joined his opening partner back in the pavilion after Johnson Charles found him short at the crease in the fifth over. The Lankans, who managed to score 41 runs at the expense of two wickets in the Powerplay overs, were looking to accelerate when Badree's magic spell spoiled their chances.
Lahiru Thirimanne (5) played the cut straight into the hands of Andre Fletcher as Badree picked up his first wicket in the seventh over. Chamara Kapugedera (6) became the second victim of Badree who got the right-hander stumped by Denesh Ramdin in the ninth over.
Three balls later, Badree struck again to force an outside edge off Milinda Siriwardana's bat. Chris Gayle took a comfortable catch at first slip as Siriwardana was sent back without troubling the scorecard.
Reeling at 47/5, the Lankans desperately needed a partnership to steady their innings. The onus was once again on Mathews who added 44 runs alongside Thisara Perera for the sixth wicket. But, the Lankan skipper couldn't stay on for long as Dwayne Bravo got him caught behind for 20 runs.
With wickets tumbling at the other end, Perera began playing his shots in search for a final flourish in the death overs. But, the left-hander couldn't help his side go beyond 122/9 in their 20 overs. Perera's 29-ball cameo, including five fours and a six, surely saved the Lankans some blushes.
The target is definitely below par at the batting-friendly Chinnaswamy stadium, while the deadly batting line-up of West Indies makes the task even more difficult for the Lankan bowlers.
Gayle could, however, prove to be the trump card for the West Indians after setting the tone with a 47-ball hundred against England - the fastest ever in World Twenty20. Should his bat roars the way it did against England, the Lankans will find it nearly impossible to stop him from steering West Indies.
Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Lahiru Thirimanne, Chamara Kapugedera, Angelo Mathews (c), Milinda Siriwardana, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Jeffrey Vandersay, Dushmantha Chameera, Rangana Herath.
West Indies: Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Marlon Samuels, Andre Fletcher, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Darren Sammy (c), Carlos Brathwaite, Samuel Badree, Sulieman Benn.