Tour review

Sri Lanka vs West Indies in 2019-20

Sa'adi Thawfeeq

One-day internationals (3): Sri Lanka 3, West Indies 0
Twenty20 internationals (2): Sri Lanka 0, West Indies 2

West Indies' first tour of Sri Lanka for over four years produced a pair of contrasting whitewashes. The hosts won all three one-day internationals, although two could have gone either way, before the visitors won both Twenty20 games with something to spare.

There was not much between the teams ahead of the 50-over matches: Sri Lanka were ranked eighth, West Indies ninth. Sri Lanka scraped home by one wicket in the first game, and by six runs in the third, sandwiching a 161-run triumph. West Indies paid for sloppy fielding and bowling: across the three games, they donated 31 in wides. Sri Lankan opener Avishka Fernando made 206 runs in the series, and put on 239 with Kusal Mendis in the second match. The Player of the Series, though, was 22-year-old all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva, who married plucky batting to enticing leg-spin and exceptional fielding.

In the Twenty20s, West Indies were bolstered by the inclusion of several format specialists. They included experienced all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell, who took the Player of the Series award after pummelling 75 runs from 28 balls. Lendl Simmons and Brandon King scored important runs at the top of the order, and Oshane Thomas rattled the batsmen with his pace. Ashantha de Mel, Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors, acknowledged the problem his side had faced: "These guys go around the world playing franchise cricket. They are like the Harlem Globetrotters in basketball. They don't play that many ODIs or Tests - they are T20 specialists, and they know exactly what to do."

© John Wisden & Co