Sri Lanka beat West Indies by 23 runs in an edge-of-the-seat thriller during their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 clash at Durham on Monday. Nonetheless, it was a consolation win for Sri Lanka as their World Cup hopes were as good as over India's loss against England on Sunday.
Coming back to this inconsequential clash, there were a lot of standout moments. However, there was one moment which was, unfortunately, a forgettable incident as a Caribbean player almost avoided a major injury. He was none other than fast bowler Shannon Gabriel.
It happened in the 35th over of the first innings. On Gabriel's second delivery, Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews played a pull shot to deep mid wicket. The ball was nicely fielded and the deep mid wicket fielder's throw also found its mark and hit the bull's eye at the non-strikers' end. But, the zing bail struck Gabriel right on the right eye. Luckily, nothing untoward happened and a major injury was avoided. Back in 2012, a similar injury had ended South African wicket-keeper batsman Mark Boucher's career as well.
Watch the video of Shannon Gabriel's lucky escape right here.
West Indies skipper Jason Holder won the toss and elected to bowl first. Sri Lankans duly obliged as skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera added 93 runs for the opening stand. After both openers were dismissed, the 1996 winners made sure that there were no further hiccups thereafter as most of the batsmen were involved in longer partnerships. Riding on a solid ton from Avishka Fernando (104 off 103), the island nation got to a challenging total of 338/6 in their 50 overs.
In reply, the Caribbeans were reduced to 84/4 and were staring down the barrel. Nevertheless, an 81-run stand between Fabian Allen and keeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran kept their hopes alive. Allen scored a quickfire 32-ball 51 while Pooran played a splendid knock of a 103-ball 118. After the duo was sent back to the pavilion, the Caribbeans lost their way as they finished at 315/9 in their 50 overs.