Avishka Fernando celebrates his century on Monday. Reuters
Avishka Fernando smashed his first one-day international century as Sri Lanka scored an imposing 338-6 in their World Cup clash against the West Indies on Monday, with both sides playing only for pride.
The 21-year-old right-hander scored 104 from 103 balls to guide Sri Lanka to 338-6, its highest total of the tournament, after being sent in to bat when West Indies skipper Jason Holder won the toss.
Fernando made promising starts in his two previous World Cup appearances, scoring 49 in the upset win over England and 30 in last Friday's loss to South Africa, but went on with it this time.
Sri Lanka was playing without pressure for the first time in the tournament after its playoff hopes were ended late Sunday when England beat India at Edgbaston.
Neither team can qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament after disappointing campaigns in England and Wales but that did not appear to dampen Sri Lanka's spirits as they attacked the West Indies bowlers with gusto.
Captain Dimuth Karunaratne (32) put on 93 for the first wicket with Kusal Perera to lay a solid base at Chester-le-Street in the northeast of England.
Perera was run out for 64 to leave Sri Lanka 104-2 in the 19th over but Fernando kept up the momentum, building useful partnerships with Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne.
The 21-year-old reached three figures off exactly 100 balls with eight fours and two sixes but was caught by Fabian Allen off the bowling of Sheldon Cottrell for 104.
Thirimanne ended unbeaten, with 45 off 33 balls.
"I played hard and I am very happy to get a hundred in my first World Cup," said Fernando.
"They had fast bowlers but the wicket was two-paced. I am very happy to do this at a young age, I got a lot of support from my team-mates."
West Indies captain Jason Holder was the pick of the bowlers, returning figures of 2-59 off his 10 overs.
But, having chosen to field, the Caribbean side failed to keep a lid on the runs and face an uphill task if they are to record only their second victory of a miserable World Cup campaign.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Kusal Perera (wkt), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Kasun Rajitha, Lasith Malinga
West Indies: Jason Holder (capt), Chris Gayle, Shai Hope (wkt), Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Ambris, Fabian Allen, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas
Umpires: Bruce Oxenford (AUS), Paul Reiffel (AUS)
TV umpire: Sundaram Ravi (IND)
Match referee: David Boon (AUS)
Joe Root is determined the “spicy” nature of England’s latest clash with Australia won’t prove a distraction when the arch rivals meet for a place in the World Cup final.
Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon says his side will be the underdogs when they face hosts England in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals. “They have been the No. 1 team for a couple of years now.
Virat Kohli admits Rohit Sharma’s blistering form has made him alter his own role in the top-order as India gear up for Tuesday’s World Cup semi-final against New Zealand.
A hashtag, namely #DhoniRetires, recently started trending on social media but soon, it became apparent that it was just another false rumour.
Two-time Grand Slam tennis champion Naomi Osaka posted pictures of protests from Minneapolis on her Instagram account. On Instagram, rising US tennis star Coco Gauff, a 16-year-old African American, showed the faces of black Americans who died in recent years at the hands of authorities or white fellow citizens.
Formula One’s truncated coronavirus-hit season will finally get underway with the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5, the Austrian government announced on Saturday.