Defending champions West Indies were knocked out of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 after losing to Sri Lanka by 20 runs.
Charith Asalanka (68) and Pathum Nissanka (51) were the key architects of Sri Lanka's 189/3 while West Indies' batting failed to fire once again in the tournament.
Asked to bat, Kusal Perera's opening boundary was an outside edge past first slip against Roston Chase. At the end of the fourth over, both openers - Perera and Pathum Nissanka - hadn't threatened to get the team off to a fast start. However, 29 for no loss in four was enough to give the side a platform to launch from. Perera opened up in the fifth and took Ravi Rampaul for 13 before falling the last over of the powerplay. Sri Lanka had 48 for 1 in six and both Nissanka and Charith Asalanka had a stage from where they could drive the innings forward.
With Perera falling, Sri Lanka could have easily adopted the risk-free approach. Asalanka, however, wasn't ready to tap the ball around. He scored 12 off his opening six deliveries and allowed Nissanka the extra breathing space to settle in. Nissanka was 26 off 24 at the end of the tenth over while Asalanka got 24 off 14 to help Sri Lanka reach 82 for 1. Between overs 10 and 15, Sri Lanka scored 50 as Kieron Pollard's worry lines only increased.
Andre Russell leaked two boundaries in the 13th to go for 11, while Pollard pulled things back in the 14th by giving away just eight. Rampaul leaked 12 in the 15th as Nissanka completed his half-century before falling in the 16th. Asalanka too completed his half-century soon after the wicket - off 33 balls - as he geared up for the final flourish.
In the 18th over, Bravo was hit for a boundary on the final delivery of the ball after he had delivered three consecutive wides. Pollard's frustration was pretty apparent as the ball went past him at long-on especially with West Indies facing a very challenging and tricky scenario for qualification.
Sri Lanka made 57 in the final five with the final three overs going for 36 runs. And though Russell bagged two wickets, West Indies couldn't quite control the death overs. Dasun Shanaka too did his bit with two boundaries and one six to end with 25 off 14.
To take their net run rate into the positive territory, West Indies needed to chase down the target in seven overs. West Indies made just one in the opening over before Binura Fernando removed Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis in the second. By the time the powerplay ended, West Indies had made 52 but had lost three wickets.
Nicholas Pooran made 46 while Shimron Hetmyer got unbeaten 81 but despite that Sri Lanka didn't have to break a sweat. Andre Russell's promotion didn't work as the allrounder fell for two after coming ahead of Pollard. Hetmyer did have some fun - scoring 18 in the 19th and bringing the equation down to 34 off 6 - before the chase eventually ran out of steam.