Bubbly West Indies aim for sweep in third ODI

Alzarri Joseph

West Indies will be gunning for their third whitewash in five series when they clash again with Sri Lanka in the final One-Day International (ODI) of the three-match series here today.

The Caribbean side took a winning 2-0 lead on Friday with a nervy, five-wicket last-over victory following their comprehensive eight-win success in last Wednesday’s opener also at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

And with precious World Cup Super League points on offer, opener Evin Lewis said the Windies would not be giving Sri Lanka a “sniff” of any success.

“At the end of the day it’s important,” the left-hander said ahead of the contest.

“Sometimes teams don’t get the opportunity to go three-nil up in a series so we have to take advantage of that.

“Knowing that we’re playing in the Caribbean we don’t want to give these guys any sniff of winning any games, so I think we should go out there and execute how we played last game.

“Go out there, fight hard, and fight till the end.”

Entering the series against the backdrop of a heavy drubbing in Bangladesh last month, West Indies needed a strong performance in order to compensate for their recent poor showing.

The opening victory was a convincing result, chasing down a modest 232 to win with three overs remaining and take an upper hand in the series.

In contrast, West Indies nearly let slip a strong position in pursuit of 274 in the second ODI, sliding from 194 without loss to get home in the final over with two balls to spare.

However, Captain Kieron Pollard said the decline was not necessarily a cause for concern going forward.

“These things happen; you can’t have a perfect game,” the experienced all-rounder pointed out.

“It’s just a matter of understanding situations when you’re in the middle and if you’re in, wanting that guy to go as deep as possible. We’ve won the series so we can look at the positives and try to fix that.”

Like Lewis, Pollard reiterated the focus of the side to make a clean sweep of the series.

“Each game is very, very important for us going forward so we’re going to come and see if we can win three-nil,” he stressed.

Lewis and his opening partner Shai Hope have been critical to West Indies’ success in the series, with record hundred-run partnerships in both games.

In the opening ODI, Hope hit 110 and Lewis, 65 in a 143-run stand, while in the second game Lewis struck 103 and Hope, 84 in a 194-run opening partnership.

Lewis said there had been a great synergy with Hope, with both hungry to do well and provide the ideal start for the home side.

“Batting with Shai is pretty easy. I feed off him sometimes and he feeds off me sometimes so I think batting with him is excellent,” said the 29-year-old.

“He is a guy that always has confidence. I feel very at ease when I bat with him. We’re just looking to continue.”

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