ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – Alarm bells continued to ring for West Indies ahead of their campaign in the ICC Under-19 World Cup next month when they slumped to their fourth defeat in five matches in the Tri-Nations Series here yesterday.
Asked to chase their highest total of the tournament after Sri Lanka posted 234 for nine off their 50 overs, West Indies Under-19s folded meekly for 104 inside the 35th over, to go down by 130 runs at Coolidge Cricket Ground.
The hosts have now not won a game since their opener against England nine days ago at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.
Once again, they owed their heavy defeat to their listless batting which had previously yielded totals of 164, 140, 137 and 116.
Kevlon Anderson top-scored with 25 while openers Mbeki Joseph and Kimani Melius both scored 20 but the remainder of the batting struggled against leg-spinner Kavindu Nadeeshan who snatched four for 17 and left-arm spinner Dilum Sudheera who claimed three for 10.
Middle order batsman Nipun Dananjaya had earlier missed out on three figures when he was dismissed for 91 as Sri Lanka flourished following an uncertain start.
Ravindu Rasantha chipped in with 43 and Sudheera got 27, efforts which helped the tourists to recover from 95 for six in the 27th over.
Fast bowler Matthew Forde was the Windies’ best bowler with four for 31 while off-spinner Avinash Mahabirsingh supported with two for 42.
Sri Lanka were tottering on 16 for two in the ninth over before Rasantha, who struck four fours and a six off 59 balls, rebuilt the innings in a 62-run, third wicket partnership with Ahan Wickramasinghe (14).
When Rasantha was bowled by Forde in the 19th over, Sri Lanka lost four wickets for 17 runs before captain Dananjaya came to their aid in a knock that required 98 balls and included two fours and half-dozen sixes.
Importantly, he added 67 for the seventh wicket with Sudeera and a further 31 for the ninth with Nadeeshan (11).
In reply, Joseph and captain Melius put on 39 for the first wicket before the rot set in, with West Indies losing nine wickets for 65 runs with Ramon Simmons unable to bat.
Melius played across one and was lbw to Sudeera in the 15th over and off the very next delivery, left-hander Leonardo Julien played back and was trapped lbw on the crease.
When Joseph was deceived by a slower ball from seamer Kavishka Gamage and also fell lbw in the 18th over, West Indies were slumping quickly at 50 for three but Anderson arrived to inspire a 30-run fourth wicket stand with Kirk McKenzie (15).
Anderson struck two fours in a 41-ball knock but once he lost McKenzie in the 27th over, bowled missing a tentative drive at a full length googly from Nadeeshan, the innings fell away again.