Gunathilaka out obstructing the field as Sri Lanka make 232 in first ODI

North Sound (Antigua and Barbuda) (AFP) –


Opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka joined the short list of players dismissed obstructing the field as Sri Lanka subsided from a promising start to be dismissed for 232 off 49 overs batting first against the West Indies in the first One-Day International of a three-match series at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Wednesday.

Seeking to regain his ground at the non-striker's end in turning down an opportunity for a single in the 22nd over off the bowling of home captain Kieron Pollard, Gunathilaka, who was moving backwards, kicked the ball out the path of Pollard who was attempting to effect a run out.

With the West Indies appealing for the dismissal, on-field umpires Joel Wilson and Gregory Brathwaite turned to television official Nigel Duguid for clarification and the interpretation came back that it was determined to be a deliberate effort by the left-handed opener to impede the bowler.

Clearly not pleased with the verdict, Sri Lanka's South African coach Mickey Arthur appeared to be seeking clarification on the ruling from Match Referee Richie Richardson shortly after.

Gunathilaka's dismissal for a top score of 55 came two overs after Pollard had effected the breakthrough to end an opening stand of 105 with Dimuth Karunaratne, the Sri Lankan skipper justifying the decision to bat first on winning the toss with a fluent innings of 52.

Fresh from leading the home side to a 2-1 triumph in the preceding T20 International series, Pollard brought himself into the attack in the 20th over and enjoyed immediate success, displaying remarkable athleticism after parrying a caught-and-bowled effort to dive full-length to his right and come up with a stunning catch.

Sri Lanka's innings stuttered thereafter it was only an even 50 from Ashen Bandara, one of two debutants in the tourists' line-up, which lifted them to a respectable total.

Given their impact in the T20 matches, it now remains to be seen if the Sri Lankan spinners can make the task difficult for the home team.

They would have been encouraged to see part-time off-spinner Jason Mohammed lead the West Indies bowling effort with two for 12 while former captain Jason Holder snared two for 39 off ten overs with his seamers.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 232 off 49 overs (D. Gunathilaka 55, D. Karunaratne, 52, A. Bandara 50; J. Mohammed 2-12, J. Holder 2-39) v West Indies

Toss: Sri Lanka