Mendis, Perera fire Sri Lanka to series-clinching win

February 6, 2011 (AFP) – Ajantha Mendis and Thisara Perera shared seven wickets as Sri Lanka posted a 26-run win over the West Indies in the third one-day international on Sunday to clinch the series 2-0. Sri Lanka showed the depth of their bowling line-up by defending their total of 277-9 and restricting the tourists to 251 despite resting attack spearheads Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan and Nuwan Kulasekara for the match.

Unorthodox spinner Mendis finished with 4-46 and seamer Perera with 3-36, while paceman Dilhara Fernando took 2-45.

Sri Lanka won the second match by eight wickets after the opening game was abandoned due to rain.

Perera strengthened his team’s position when he removed well-set Darren Bravo (79) and skipper Darren Sammy (three) in the space of five balls.

Mendis took the last three wickets, including that of Carlton Baugh, to complete the win, depriving Baugh (49) of his maiden half-century in one-day internationals.

Darren Bravo sustained his team’s hopes with a 125-run stand for the third wicket with Ramnaresh Sarwan (51) after openers Chris Gayle and Adrian Barath had fallen with no runs on the board.

Gayle was bowled first ball by Fernando, whil