Brathwaite ton hands WI warm-up win

All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite smashed a scintillating hundred to once against press his claim for a place ahead of the One-Day International series as West Indies beat Sri Lanka Cricket President’s XI by 43 runs in a rain-affected one-day tour game here Thursday.

The right-hander blasted a stroke-filled 113 off a mere 58 deliveries as West Indies were dismissed for 318 off 48.4 overs, after being sent in at Colts Cricket Club.

He was supported by Andre Russell who was equally as devastating with a superb 54-ball 89, as the two shared an outstanding 193-run, partnership for the eighth wicket.

In reply, the hosts had reached 103 for three after 21 overs when heavy thunderstorms ended the game abruptly, with West Indies ahead under Duckworth/Lewis.

Lahiru Thirimanne top-scored with 41 off 48 deliveries while Kusal Mendis chipped in with 32 off 48 balls.

Not for the first time this year, Brathwaite produced an excellent knock, to once against grab the attention of tour selectors.

In the three-day tour match in preparation for the Test series, he was the only West Indies player to get a half-century with an aggressive 54 off 46 deliveries – replicating a similar performance against Australia when they toured the Caribbean in May.

And on Thursday here, he once again served reminder of his talent with a knock that hauled West Indies around from a precarious position of 109 for seven in the 30th over and lifted them behind the 300-run mark.

Left-arm seamer Isuru Udana (2-69) took care of openers Andre Fletcher (11) and Johnson Charles (7) cheaply to leave West Indies on 22 for two in the sixth over.

Bravo, who faced 53 balls and counted two fours, put on 34 for the third wicket with Marlon Samuels who made 19 from 25 balls before falling to a catch at the wicket off seamer Thisara Perera in the 13th over.

His dismissal set in train a rut which saw the Windies lose five wickets for 53 runs as leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna (2-60) claimed the key wickets of Bravo and Denesh Ramdin (13).

Batting at number nine, Brathwaite then slammed ten fours and seven sixes in an extraordinary counterattack while Russell, not to be outdone, struck six fours and six sixes.

Once they were out in the space of ten balls – both to left-arm seamer Binura Fernando (3-71) – West Indies quickly ran out of steam, losing their last three wickets for 16 runs.

Pacer Ravi Rampaul then knocked over Danushka Gunathilaka for 13 in the fifth over with the score on 26 but Thirimanne and Mendis posted 55 for the second wicket to repair the damage.

The left-handed Thirimanne faced 48 balls and struck four fours while the 20-year-old Mendis, who made his Test debut last week against West Indies, struck five fours off 46 balls.

Russell, who worked up a fair turn of pace, got the breakthrough when he had Mendis caught at short mid-wicket by Fletcher fending off a short delivery while Holder bowled Thirimanne in the final over before the rains arrived.

West Indies face Sri Lanka in the opening ODI of the three-match series on Sunday at the R Premadasa Stadium.