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Hasaranga steers Sri Lanka to one-wicket win in nerve-wracking ODI series opener
Match Report

Hasaranga steers Sri Lanka to one-wicket win in nerve-wracking ODI series opener

Wanindu Hasaranga's quick-fire cameo late in the innings helped Sri Lanka complete an enthralling chase as they pipped West Indies by one wicket in the first ODI on Saturday.

The 22-year-old held his nerve amidst a chaotic batting collapse from the hosts, to register his highest ODI score in a memorable knock.

Playing only his 10th ODI innings, the No. 8 calmly shepherded the tail despite several setbacks in Sri Lanka's challenging run-chase.

Hasaranga built crucial partnerships with Thisara Perera and Lakshan Sandakan before the winnings runs came in the final over off a no-ball from Keemo Paul.

His vital contribution was laced with four boundaries and a six as he wonderfully thwarted the tourists' attempts at earning their first ODI victory in Sri Lanka since 2006.

Hasaranga's sublime effort trumped Shai Hope's ninth ODI hundred after Sri Lanka had invited West Indies to bat first.

Hope was unperturbed by the early dismissal of his opening partner as he fluently laid the foundation for an imposing total.

The right-handed batsman batted with remarkable poise to punish the island nation's bowling attack to muster 115 runs from 140 deliveries.

His elegant stay at the crease was followed by firepower exhibited by the lower middle-order with the likes of Paul and Hayden Walsh launching some explosive hits to lift the team's total to 289-7.

In reply, Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and Avishka Fernando put on a 111-run stand for the first wicket.

Their solid partnership set the template for the highest successful chase at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground, though a frequent loss of wickets derailed their path towards the win.

Although Kusal Perera smashed 42 coming in to bat at number three, Sri Lanka's innings threatened to wilt away in the face of reckless shots from the experienced campaigners.

This failure to convert starts into substantial scores was deemed by captain Karunaratne as an aspect of Sri Lanka's game requiring instant improvement.

"Of course, winning is the ultimate thing but we made couple of mistakes that we have to learn from," he said after the victory.

"Both me and Avishka Fernando could have converted our fifties into bigger scores but we will look to correct that in the future."