COLOMBO, February 22: A late cameo by Wanindu Hasaranga helped Sri Lanka pull off a thrilling chase to edge out West Indies by one wicket in the first one-day international on Saturday.
Hasaranga, known for his leg-spin bowling, hit an unbeaten 42 after coming in to bat at number eight as Sri Lanka chased down their target of 290 with five balls to spare and lead the three-match series 1-0.
Hasaranga held his nerve after Sri Lanka slipped to 253 for seven following the departure of Thisara Perera for 32 to register his highest ODI score.
He built crucial partnerships including a 38-run stand with Perera and then put on 27 runs with Lakshan Sandakan for the ninth wicket.
With one to get off the last six ball Sandakan was run out but Keemo Paul bowled a no ball.
Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and Avishka Fernando put on 111 runs for the opening wicket to lay the platform for what turned out be the highest successful chase at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground.
For the West Indies, Alzarri Joseph claimed three wickets after Shai Hope made 115 in his team’s 289 for seven.
In response, Sri Lanka lost their way after their strong start despite wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera hitting 42 coming in at number three.
Leg-spinner Hayden Walsh and Paul took two wickets each to regularly dent Sri Lanka along with Joseph but Hasaranga stood firm.
The effort trumped Hope’s ninth ODI hundred after Sri Lanka invited West Indies to bat first.
Hope lost his opening partner early and was involved in the run out of Darren Bravo but laid the foundation for his team’s total.
Left-arm pace bowler Isuru Udana claimed three wickets including Hope’s prized scalp but gave away 82 runs from his 10 overs.
The second match is in Hambantota on Wednesday. (AFP)