When West Indies faced Sri Lanka in their ICC 2019 World Cup game at Chester-le-Street in Durham, there was a very famous personality from outside the cricket world who was in attendance. It was the leading name in English pop music Rihanna who wasn't just there at the stadium to watch the match but show her whole-hearted support for the West Indies team.
The 31-year old singer and actress is a Barbadian who made herself a star in United States. But her enthusiasm for the West Indies team which was in full display during their chase of a steep 339-run target showed that the love of cricket which abounds in her native country is very much present in her also. The fact that the current West Indies team is led by a person from her country - Jason Holder - and has many of his compatriots would have added to her interest.
Not only does she belong to West Indies, Rihanna also has another interesting connection with the game. She went to the same school as English fast bowler Chris Jordan and West Indian all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite. The latter met her after the game and received a warm hug from her.
Rihanna also went into the West Indian dressing room and met Chris Gayle and posed with him and a bat signed by him for a stylish photograph. Gayle, who is most likely playing in his last tournament as an international ODI cricketer would be happy to have this memory for posterity. This meeting of the two leading entertainers in their respective field of work must be one of the memorable moments from this event.
The match itself was very exciting and saw RiRi, as she is popularly known, also getting very excited by the prospect of a great victory of West Indies. The target set by Sri Lanka was steep and the Caribbean side was in all sorts of trouble at 145/5. But then a partnership between Nicholas Pooran and Carlos Brathwaite took them to 199 without the loss of any wickets. However, Carlos Brathwaite was mighty unlucky to be run out at the non-striker end after a straight drive from his partner crashed into the stumps after hitting the tip of bowler Isuru Udana's finger.
But West Indies were still in the game and looked like the favourites thanks to a brilliant partnership between Pooran and Fabian Allen. The two men added 83 runs in less than 10 overs and seemed all set to take the game away when, due to a horrible mix up, Allen got run out. Pooran kept Windies in the game and got to his maiden century but eventually, the Caribbean side fell short by 23 runs.