Mathews's side wins by 19 runs in a rain-hit game after the West Indies posts 206 for 9 in 36 overs
Sri Lanka swept the three-match One-Day International series against the West Indies 3-0 with a 19-run win by the Duckworth-Lewis method in the third and final game at the Palllekele International Stadium on Saturday (November 7).
Marlon Samuels's fighting century went in vain as Sri Lanka, chasing 191 in the allotted 36 overs in a rain-curtailed game, reached 180 for 5 in 32.3 overs before rain again brought an end to proceedings.
Sri Lanka's chase was built on useful contributions from the top and middle order. It got off to a brisk start for the third consecutive time in the series courtesy Tillakaratne Dilshan (21) and Kusal Perera (50), who added 40 runs in 5.3 overs.
Dilshan was gifted a reprieve by Jonathan Carter on the second ball of the fifth over, and the West Indies had a chance to run out Perera on the same delivery, but Carlos Brathwaite, the bowler, was walking back to his mark unaware of the chance and was struck by the incoming throw. Dilshan, however, failed to capitalise, and was dismissed off the very next ball.
Lahiru Thirimanne (21) and Perera then played some crisp strokes. But when they fell in the space of eight runs, it gave the West Indies a chance to fight back. It took Angelo Mathews (27 not out) to see off the Sunil Narine threat and ensure the middle-order wobble was dealt with without much fuss.
Earlier in the day, Mathews's decision to put the West Indies in seemed to be the right one. Lasith Malinga (2 for 43) tasted success in the very first over of the game, having Johnson Charles caught off the fourth ball by Dilshan. Andre Fletcher (6) was trapped leg before off Suranga Lakmal, while Dilshan took another catch off Malinga to send back Jermaine Blackwood.
Denesh Ramdin lobbed a short ball from Dushmantha Chameera to Perera, who lunged forward to complete a neat catch and leave the West Indies at 18 for 4. That soon became 84 for 6.
Samuels, however, struck a magnificent 95-ball 110 to help post a fighting 206 for 9. He rebuilt the innings almost single-handedly, reaching his second successive half-century and ninth ODI ton in the process. When play resumed after a rain break, Samuels punished the Sri Lankan bowlers, who found it tough to control the slippery ball.
However, no other West Indies batsman could score more than 20, and that dented the West Indies’ chances of earning a consolation win.
To see the full scorecard of this game, please click here.