West Indies openers Shai Hope and Evin Lewis put just 24 on the scoreboard today before they were separated. No matter, as Darren Bravo delivered in the middle order with his fourth One Day International century, to help the hosts to a 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
The triumph means West Indies have won their last three contests across all formats of the game, with a 2-0 Test win away to Bangladesh followed by a 2-1 T20 conquest of Sri Lanka in Antigua.
Next up is a two Test series against Sri Lanka, which starts on 21 March.
West Indies won the toss today and inserted the South Asia tourists, who batted through the entire 50 overs to tally 274 for 6—just one run more than they mustered in the second ODI on Friday.
All-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga, with a heavily strapped leg due to injury, smashed a 60-ball 80 to lead his nation. It was the highest ODI score ever by a Sri Lanka number eight and sought to undo the damage done by spinner Akeal Hosein, who cleaned up the middle order to finish with 3 for 33.
As it turned out, West Indies were only getting started.
Although Lewis departed relatively early—bowled by Suranga Lakmal for 13—Hope found a willing ally in Bravo and the pair put on a 109 run partnership for the third wicket.
Bravo mixed patience with ruthlessness in his knock of 102 from 132 balls, with five fours and four sixes. It put West Indies within touching distance of the finish line.
And, once again, captain Kieron Pollard’s men did not falter at crunch time. In fact, it was a combination of past and present captains that sealed the affair for the hosts.
West Indies needed 26 runs from 23 balls when Bravo went, caught by captain Dimuth Karunaratne off Lakmal. Pollard (53*) and Jason Holder (14*) got there with nine balls to spare, with the latter hitting the final deliveries he faced for four and six runs respectively.
It meant 10 more precious World Cup qualifying points for the hosts, while it might leave future ODI opponents thinking that no total short of 300 is sufficient against Pollard’s big hitting troops.
West Indies won by five wickets (with 9 balls remaining)
Sri Lanka 274/6 (Wanindu Hasaranga 80*, Ashden Bandara 55*; Akeal Hosein 3 for 33);
West Indies 276/5 (Darren Bravo 102, Shai Hope 64, Kieron Pollard 53*; Suranga Lakmal 2 for 56).