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Nerveless Mathews stars in Pallekele thriller as Sri Lanka complete series whitewash
Match Report

Nerveless Mathews stars in Pallekele thriller as Sri Lanka complete series whitewash

Angelo Mathews revived his bowling form to help Sri Lanka prevail in a riveting contest against West Indies to cap off a series sweep in the ODI encounters.

The former Sri Lankan skipper snaffled four scalps and defended 13 runs in the final over of the game, managing to restrict the visitors to 301 for nine in pursuit of the 308-run target.

A rampaging Fabian Allen had bludgeoned 37 off 14 deliveries by the first ball of the last over before falling victim to Mathews' guile while going for another maximum.

Sri Lanka benefitted from an all-round performance from the batsmen with Kusal Mendis emerging as the top run-scorer with 55.

Mendis then claimed the crucial catch of Allen to hammer the final nail in the coffin for the West Indies.

The Caribbean team's batting exhibition featured valiant knocks from Shai Hope (72), Sunil Ambris (60), Nicholas Pooran (50) and skipper Kieron Pollard (49).

However, Mathews scythed through the West Indies' line-up wrestling back the momentum and returning match-winning figures of 4-59 in his 10 overs of medium-pace bowling.

Sri Lanka marched to 307 in 50 overs with paceman Alzarri Joseph finishing as the most prolific bowler from the tourists, taking four wickets.

Avishka Fernando and captain Dimuth Karunaratne scored at a rapid rate before the West Indies crippled the initial impetus with frequent blows.

Kusal Perera and Mendis rebuilt the innings during their brisk 89-run stand to nullify any progress made by the opposition.

The in-form Mendis, carrying on his good form from the previous outing, reached his 17th ODI fifty before Joseph removed him.

Late-order firepower was spearheaded by Dhananjaya de Silva, who also racked up an impactful half-century.

Joseph eventually got rid of the danger man but significant damage had already been inflicted on the West Indies.

The two sides will now renew their rivalry for two 20-over matches starting Wednesday in Pallekele.