West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard was very happy with his team's win over Sri Lanka in the second ODI and termed it a 'team performance' and lauded the boys for doing their roles well. On the other hand, Dimuth Karunaratne rued the dreadful start for the side and cited the need for improvement.
West Indies won the second game of the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka on Friday in Antigua to take an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the three-match series. The win was powered by a penetrative bowling performance which was backed by the Windies openers who put on 192 for the first wicket in the chase of 274 runs with Evin Lewis making a century and the ever consistent Shai Hope scoring 84. Nicholas Pooran helped the side cross the line with an unbeaten 35 as the hosts won the game by five wickets with two balls to spare.
Reflecting on the win, Kieron Pollard, asserted that Lewis did what the team asked him to and termed the win as a team performance as he also lauded the bowlers.
"At the end of the day, we take the win. Evin scored a hundred, we asked that in the dressing room. Hope again scoring runs and it was nice to see Pooran finish off the game. It was a total team performance today. Our best chance of winning the game was chasing. In T20s, we didn't do well. Good to see the boys sticking to the their rules and responsibilities. Congrats to the bowlers as well, they bowled well. Jason Mohammed picked three wicket today, Joseph took a couple upfront and other bowlers did well as well," Kieron Pollard said in the post-match presentation, reported Cricbuzz.
The game got a little close, which wasn't expected after the great start that the Windies got but Sri Lanka fought back hard in the last 13 overs. But Windies ended up with 10 crucial World Cup Super League points with the win. Pollard admitted that it wasn't a perfect game but added that he was happy with the series win.
"You can't have a perfect game. It's a matter of understanding situations. We have won the series. We look at the positives and and try to fix that. Each game is very important, we are going to come and see if we can win 3-0. Today has been one of the hardest days in cricket for me as an individual. The guy who is responsible for me playing cricket, uncle Steven passed away this morning. I dedicate this series win to you."
For Sri Lanka, Alzarri Joseph's twin wickets inside the first eight overs and Jason Mohammed's wickets in the middle overs proved too costly as they couldn't go beyond 273 despite fifties from Gunathilaka and Chandimal. Losing skipper Dimuth Karunaratne felt that the side lost too many early wickets and, when it came to their turn, couldn't take wickets in opening burst.
"We lost lot of wickets in the early part. We recovered well, but the two batsmen who got runs, they couldn't convert it. Even the bowling .... we need to improve. The spinners are expected to take wickets, but the WI batsmen bated really well against them. There are some positives. Danushka got some runs, Chandimal got some runs as well, Thisara and Wanindu were brilliant. But we lacked wicket-taking options and that's why we couldn't put pressure on West Indies. We need to have a plan for their openers (in the final ODI). We need to take a couple of wickets early," Dimuth Karunaratne said.