Windies strike early


Rain halted play in the fifth match of the tri-nation Series between the West Indies and Sri Lanka on Sunday.
Put in to bat by stand-in-skipper Kieron Pollard, the Sri Lankans were 60/3 after 19 overs when it began to pour.
Jason Holder dismissed the in-form Upul Tharanga (7), while Kemar Roach did further damage as he snared Sri Lanka’s premier batsman Mahela Jayawardene for 7 caught behind the wicket.
He struck again, sending Dinesh Chandimal (2) back to the pavilion as the batsman dragged the ball back on to his stumps.
Kumar Sangakkara (11) and Lahiru Thirimanne (13) were at the crease when rain interrupted play.
Roach picked up two wickets while Holder scalped one.
Lendl Simmons replaced suspended captain Dwayne Bravo in the West Indies team. Bravo’s one-match suspension was handed down by International Cricket Council match referee Jeff Crowe after the hosts fell behind the required over-rate during their 102-run loss to India on Friday.
It was the second such offence by the West Indies under Bravo’s stewardship in less than a month following similar tardiness in the ICC Champions Trophy match against South Africa in Cardiff on June 14.
Simmons’s call-up earlier hinted that he was an obvious replacement for Bravo in the final eleven to face the Sri Lankans.
It meant that squad member Devon Smith was yet again left out from the side that was led by hard-hitting batsman Kieron Pollard. It was Pollard who led the West Indies to a thrilling one-wicket victory over India a week ago in Kingston when Bravo was sidelined by a groin strain.
Almost seven years after he made his One-Day International debut, the 28-year-old Simmons had another opportunity to claim a regular place in the West Indies side.
The utility batsman, who also bowls a bit of medium-pace and can deputise as a wicketkeeper, averaged 30.31 with the bat in 42 previous ODI’s, his lone century coming against Bangladesh in 2011.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin was omitted along with spinner Sunil Narine, who sustained a finger injury during that match. Their places are taken by batsman Devon Smith and fast-medium bowler Jason Holder with Johnson Charles to do duty behind the stumps.
Brimming with confidence following a 161-thrashing of India in their last match in Kingston five days earlier, a well-rested Sri Lanka made two changes from the victorious XI at Sabina Park, all-rounder Jeevan Mendis and seamer Shaminda Eranga replacing Kusal Perera and Rangana Herath.

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