Windies sweeps Sri Lanka in two-match T20 series

West Indies' batsman Andre Russell plays a shot against Sri Lanka during their first Twenty20 cricket match in Pallekele, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, March 4, 2020.
(AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

 West Indies swept their Twenty20 International series with a convincing seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the second match at the Pallekele Stadium in Kandy last Friday.

All-rounder Andre Russell put to rest any doubts over this fitness with an exciting Man-of-the-Match performance of a 14-ball, unbeaten 40 that took the world champions home.

He smashed five sixes, following up on a similar effort in the opener two days earlier when he struck a 14-ball 35. His efforts earned him the Man-of-the-Match title.

Set a modest 156, West Indies stormed their target with three overs to spare, sending a warning to rivals ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

West Indies’ batsman Shimron Hetmyer runs between wickets against Sri Lanka during their second Twenty20 cricket match in Pallekele, Sri Lanka, Friday, March 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

While Shimron Hetmyer stroked a measured 45 of 42 balls and opener Brandon King cracked 45 off 21 balls but it was Russell who stole the show, hammering the Sri Lanka bowlers to all part of the ground.

The 31-year-old Jamaica has not played in a single T20 International in nearly two years and after hobbling out of last year’s 50 overs World Cup with a bad knee injury that required surgery, his international future appeared bleak.

It was West Indies Twenty20 series win in their last six tours.

A disappointing batting performance had earlier left Sri Lanka with a disappointing 155 for six after they were sent in.

In the first match West Indies fast bowler Oshane Thomas picked up his maiden five-wicket haul(5-28), dismissing Sri Lanka for 171 at the start of the final over.

Opener Lendl Simmons struck seven fours and a six as he and opener Brandon King put on 74 off 50 balls. West Indies won the man by four wickets.

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