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Rain pours but Barath parades

BARRY ALLEYNE, [email protected]

Rain pours but Barath parades

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COLOMBO– A contest that promised much following Adrian Barath’s maiden One-day International hundred of 113 and Ramnaresh Sarwan’s crisp 75, delivered very little, when rain ruined West Indies’ first ODI against Sri Lanka earlier today.
.Barath and Sarwan added 165 for the third wicket to rescue West Indies from a shaky start, and lead the visitors to 245 for five from their allocation of 50 overs, after they chose to bat on a docile Singhalese Sports Club pitch.But the weather, which disrupted the Test series between the two sides last November/December, and forced the postponement of these ODIs, returned to make mockery of their efforts, as the Sri Lankans were unable to start their chase after the statutory 45-minute interval between innings.
The three-match series continues this coming Thursday at the same venue, where the final contest will be played three days later.Barath struck eight fours and two sixes from 129 balls on the way to his landmark hundred.He reached the milestone from 119 balls, when he drove Ajantha Mendis down the ground for his penultimate four in the 40th over.But Barath lived a charmed life.He was fortunate on 22, when Angelo Mathews got his fingertips to an airy return chance in the ninth over.
Barath reached his 50 from 70 balls with a deuce to third man off the same bowler in the 23rd over, but on 54, Mahela Jayawardene put down a tough chance at slip off Mendis. On 76, the jockey-sized West Indies opener failed to read Muttiah Muralitharan’s doosra, and wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka captain, missed a tight stumping chance.In between, Barath reeled off some enterprising strokes, including swings over the mid-wicket fence for his two sixes off Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mathews respectively.
Sarwan, playing in his first match for the visitors since last June, when he was sidelined with a leg injury, was however, the model of stability at the other end.He showed his class in a 100-ball innings that included four fours and one six, and reached his 50 from 67 balls, when he swept Muralitharan to deep backward square leg for a single in the 35th over.Barath and Sarwan carried West Indies on their diminutive shoulders after they stumbled to 42 for two in the 13th over.
Chris Gayle was caught behind for four nibbling at Nuwan Kulasekara’s out-swinger in the fourth over, and Darren Bravo was run out for eight, when he backed-up too far and failed to beat Chamara Kapugedera’s throw from mid-wicket to Muralitharan.Sarwan joined Barath, and they batted diligently before they were cut down within two balls of each other.
Both fell to Lasith Malinga caught at long-on in the 44th over – the first of the batting Power Play.Kieron Pollard again failed in an ODI to live-up to his big-hitting reputation, and was bowled for four, when Malinga deceived him with an in-swinging, slower delivery in the 46th over to make the bleach afro-haired fast bowler the pick of the Sri Lankan attack, with three wickets for 51 runs from his allotment of 10 overs.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy with 21 not out, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul with 13 not out put on a valuable, unbroken 30 for the sixth wicket inside the last five overs to beef-up the visitors’ total before the rain swept across the Sri Lanka capital rendering the earlier work of Barath and Sarwan meaningless.Both sides are using the series as timely match practice for the 2011 World Cup, which begins on February 19 and is co-hosted by the Sri Lankans, India, and Bangladesh.