21 Mar 2016

Windies close in on finals, SA claim first win

8:42 am on 21 March 2016

West Indies brushed aside Sri Lanka by seven wickets in their World Twenty20 Super 10 match on Sunday, with opener Andre Fletcher smashing an unbeaten 84.

West Indies batsman Andre Fletcher.

West Indies batsman Andre Fletcher. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Fresh from the impressive six-wicket win over England on Wednesday, Windies skipper Darren Sammy won the toss at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium and put Sri Lanka in, trusting his batsmen to chase down any total.

Defending champions Sri Lanka slumped to a disappointing 122-9 and then had no answer to Fletcher, who opened alongside Johnson Charles as Chris Gayle, scorer of an unbeaten century against England, dropped down the order.

Gayle never made it to the crease but his services were scarcely missed as Fletcher smashed five sixes and six boundaries to seal a routine second Group One victory for his team.

The win was set up by a strong bowling performance by the Windies, with pace bowler Carlos Brathwaite drawing first blood by getting the in-form Tillakaratne Dilshan out lbw with his first ball of the match in the third over.

Dilshan, who scored 83 against Afghanistan on Thursday, had tried to set the tone, hitting his first ball for six and following that up with a boundary, but he was out for 12.

His strike partner Dinesh Chandimal also suffered a soft dismissal, when he was run out on 16 in the fifth over.

Spinner Samuel Badree took 3-12 in his four overs to wreak havoc with Sri Lanka's top order with Lahiru Thirimanne, Chamara Kapugedera and Milinda Siriwardana all falling cheaply.

Captain Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera had a mountain to climb to put a competitive total on the board and managed 44 runs in 46 balls for the sixth wicket but both were caught off deliveries by Dwayne Bravo to give Sri Lanka no chance.

Meanwhile South Africa batsman AB de Villiers announced himself at the cricket World T20 with a swashbuckling 64 and made Afghanistan pay for dropping him twice as South Africa revived their campaign with a 37-run victory in Mumbai.

South Africa chose to bat first and racked up a total of 209 for five in their 20 overs, before rolling a plucky Afghanistan side for 172 to claim their first win.