West Indies v Sri Lanka ODIs - Men's
Rare obstruction dismissal mars WI win against Sri Lanka
Kieron Pollard at the centre of a controversial dismissal after Windies captain appealed for obstruction in opening ODI in Antigua
11 March 2021, 10:49 AM AEST
Sri Lanka have slumped after opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka was given out for obstructing the field, losing by eight wickets to the West Indies in the first one-day international of their three-game series.
Gunathilaka made 55 and had put on 105 in an opening stand with captain Dimuth Karunaratne, which seemed to put Sri Lanka on course to a commanding total after losing the toss and had been sent in.
Karunaratne was out for 52, caught and bowled by West Indies captain Kieron Pollard with his second delivery.
But the match became ill-tempered when, in the 21st over, Gunathilaka was judged to have obstructed the field when he trod on the ball while Pollard was attempting to affect a run out.
Pollard bowled a short ball which Gunathilaka fended away.
Pathum Nissanka set off for a single but Gunathilaka, after advancing down the pitch, sent him back and stepped back into his own crease.
As he did so, he stepped on the ball and knocked it backwards.
Pollard immediately appealed and on-field umpire Joe Wilson gave a soft signal of out before television umpire Nigel Guguid ruled that Gunathilaka had deliberately attempted to foil the run out.
There seemed to be little evidence the batsman had acted deliberately.
Sri Lanka’s Danushka Gunathilaka Given Out Obstructing The Field In First ODI Against West Indiespic.twitter.com/0yzDBK66cz— Venkat Parthasarathy (@Venkrek) March 10, 2021
The Marylebone Cricket Club, guardians of the Laws of cricket, said: "The key part of the obstructing the field Law (37.2/37.3) is intent – which can be hard to judge. If the obstruction is wilful, it will be out, but if it's accidental then it will be not out."
The Sri Lanka innings lost its way from that point and from 2-112 the tourists were all out for 232 in 49 overs.
The West Indies surpassed that total with Shai Hope making 110 and his opening partner Evin Lewis adding 65.
Pollard had become just the third man to hit six sixes in an over in international cricket during the preceding T20 series when he took 36 from an Akila Dananjaya over.
"We got a nice start but we lost a couple of wickets," Karunaratne said.
"In the end we were short of 30-40 runs.
"If me and Danushka could have batted longer it would have been a different story."
Karunaratne said 232 was inadequate on a good batting pitch.
"They could just get singles and rotate the strike," he said.
"Shai got a start and he batted well. We kept losing wickets in our innings."
Raise that bat @shaidhope!🏏 #WIvSL #MenInMaroon #cgcoralisle pic.twitter.com/4kRAwiNqxk— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) March 10, 2021
Pollard acknowledged the dismissal of the Sri Lanka openers in quick succession changed the course of the innings and the match.
"They were 100 without loss and we were looking at a chase of 300," Pollard said.
"We thought we needed to up the intensity in the field.
"They lost a couple of wickets and it started the slide"
@KieronPollard55 and @danushka_70 had a chat at close of play. 🙏🏾#SpiritOfCricket #WIvSL 🏏🌴 pic.twitter.com/FowckA7ajx— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) March 10, 2021
Pollard praised Hope's match-winning innings.
"For us in white ball cricket Hope is the guy," he said.
"He's been given a role and he gives us the foundation and others can bat around him."