Fernando ton pushes Sri Lanka to 338/6 against West Indies
Chester-le-Street: Avishka Fernando's maiden ODI century helped Sri Lanka post 338/6 against the West Indies at the World Cup on Monday. Fernando scored 104 off 103 balls with the help of nine fours and two sixes. Put into bat by West Indies skipper Jason Holder at the Riverside Ground, Sri Lanka made a strong start to the innings. After captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera added 93 runs for the first wicket, it was Holder who gave the Windies the breakthrough by forcing an edge off Karunaratne (32) which was gleefully accepted by Shai Hope behind the stumps in the 16th over. Two overs later, Perera (64; 51 balls, 4x8) was run out, but Fernando and Kusal Mendis went about undoing the damage, adding 85 runs for the third wicket. Fernando anchored the middle order even after the dismissal of Mendis (39), setting up strong partnerships with Angelo Matthews and later Lahiru Thirimanne. Matthews (26) was done by an inch perfect yorker from Holder and it looked like Oshane Thomas had got Thirimanne just two overs later by getting him to hit the ball straight to the fielder at midwicket. But it turned out that he had overstepped by a fair distance. Thirimanne went on to finish the innings with unbeaten on 45 off 33 balls, hottong four boundaries in the process . Fernando was dismissed in the 38th over by Sheldon Cottrell, whose trademark salute celebration seemed to be more of an acknowledgement of the batsman's efforts than in jubilation. Holder (2/59) was the pick of the West Indies bowlers while Cottrell, Thomas and Fabian Allen picked up one wicket each. Brief scores: Sri Lanka: 338/6 in 50 overs (Avishka Fernando 104, Kusal Perera 64; Holder 2/59) vs West Indies.