West Indies’ last shot at silver lining

Wednesday, 11 November 2015 00:33 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

BUP_DFT_DFT-24-42Dinesh Chandimal continued his sparkling form in Sri Lanka’s win in Pallekele - AFP


ESPNCricinfo: West Indies may not have expected to blow the hosts away but, five weeks in, many of their worst fears for the tour have been realised. Not only are they without an international win, they’ve also had two bowlers - one a crucial limited-overs player - reported for suspect actions. Off the field, head coach Phil Simmons is yet to be reinstated and bowling coach Curtly Ambrose left the tour mid-way to play in the All Stars series.

They have one final chance to yank a silver lining out of this cumulonimbus tour. Darren Sammy has spoken of his team’s happy memories at Khettarama from the 2012 World T20, and perhaps nostalgia can be the spark that sees them catch fire after a damp first outing.

Mediocre T20 bowling formed the basis of their loss on Monday, as the visitors continued to deliver length towards the back end of the innings. Sunil Narine was outstanding, as usual, but had scant support from the legion of West Indies seamers, who as a unit, were a little light on variation and surprise. The power in their batting seemed as if it might bail the bowlers out in portions of the chase, but there is perhaps no tougher place in the world to chase tall limited-overs scores than Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka, for the little it’s worth, protected their top T20 ranking with that victory. More importantly, they seem to be putting together a top order, which, after a little bit of spit-shine and elbow grease, could form the cornerstone of a decent title defence at next year’s World T20. This year had seen a sharp return to the troposphere after 2014’s astronomical highs, but the West Indies tour has suggested the team is bouncing back. Sri Lanka might not always be a world-beating outfit, but their lows have not tended to last long either.

Now seemingly relieved of the gloves in all formats, Dinesh Chandimal has a little added responsibility with the bat. This has been a season of rebirth for him. Following rejuvenating Test and ODI hands, on Monday, he displayed aptitude in the T20 format he struggled in last year. One of the cleanest hitters in the team when the mood strikes, Chandimal has the potential to play a key role in the 2016 World T20.

On an evening in which all West Indies’ seamers went at more than 10 an over, Kieron Pollard managed at least to cause a few problems, and take two wickets. He took pace off the ball to exploit the slow Pallekele surface, and with the Khettarama pitch likely to be even slower, he may be similarly effective there. Too much was required of him with the bat but, nevertheless, he made his presence felt with a few mighty blows off the spinners.



Narine hauled up for suspect action

AFP: West Indies spinner Sunil Narine has been reported for a suspect bowling action and will need to undergo tests within 14 days, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Monday.

Narine, 27, was reported after the first one-day international against Sri Lanka in BUP_DFT_DFT-24-43Pallekele on Saturday, where he went wicket-less in the 19-run defeat for the West Indies.

Narine’s action had in the past been questioned during domestic competitions like the Indian Premier League, but this was the first time he has been reported in an international match.

An ICC statement said Narine, who pulled out of the World Cup earlier this year to work on his action, will be allowed to play on till the results of the tests are declared.

Narine has played six Tests, 55 one-dayers and 32 Twenty20 internationals since his debut in 2011.

The ICC launched a crackdown against suspect actions in June last year, leading to several leading bowlers being reported.

Other bowlers who have been up hauled up include Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez, Bangladesh’s Sohag Gazi, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, Sri Lanka’s Sachithra Senanayake and Tharindu Kaushal, and Zimbabwe’s Prosper Utseya and Malcolm Waller.