IT is extremely rare to witness six sixes in an over, or a hat-trick. West Indies’ erratic four-wicket victory against Sri Lanka on Wednesday in Antigua featured both.
All the drama unfolded in the second innings with West Indies chasing a modest 132 for victory at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.
West Indies were cruising on 52 without loss in the fourth-over with Evin Lewis and Lendl Simmons punishing the Sri Lanka bowlers. Spinner Akila Dananjaya then turned the match on its head with a hat-trick. Evin Lewis was caught at long off for 28, then Chris Gayle was out leg before for duck and Dananjaya completed the feat when Nicholas Pooran nicked one to wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella for duck.
It soon became 62/4 when Simmons fell for 26.
However, Pollard wiped the smile off Dananjaya’s face in the sixth over as the West Indies captain struck the spinner for six consecutive sixes. It was the second time a batsman achieved that in T20 international cricket.
The excitement did not end there as PWH de Silva kept Sri Lanka interested with the wickets of Pollard and Fabian Allen in consecutive deliveries. The match was now hanging in the balance with West Indies 101/6 in the seventh-over.
Shortly after, Jason Holder was dropped on the boundary which would have given Sri Lanka a strong chance of emerging victorious. Dwayne Bravo brought a level head to proceedings and along with Holder took West Indies to 134/6 after 13.1 overs to grab the win.
Sri Lanka batting first posted 131/9 with fast bowler Obed McCoy the pick of the West Indies bowlers with 2/25 in four overs. Sri Lanka were poised to score a competitive total getting to 71/1 in the tenth over. However, Sri Lanka lost wickets regularly for the remainder of the innings with an all-round bowling effort led by McCoy. The six bowlers used by West Indies captain Kieron Pollard all took at least one wicket. They included debutant Kevin Sinclair (1/26), Fidel Edwards (1/29), Jason Holder (1/19), Dwayne Bravo (1/26) and Fabian Allen (1/4).
Pathum Nissanka (39) and Niroshan Dickwella (33) were the top scorers for Sri Lanka. The pair combined to put on 51 for the second-wicket.
The second match will be played on Friday at 6 pm.
SUMMARISED SCORES: SRI LANKA 131/9 (20 overs) (Pathum Nissanka 39, Niroshan Dickwella 33; Obed McCoy 2/25) vs WEST INDIES 134/6 (13.1 overs) (Kieron Pollard 38, Jason Holder 29 not out, PWH de Silva 3/12, Akila Dananjaya 3/62). WEST INDIES won by four wickets.