West Indies won the toss and chose to bat first in the first T20, in Pallekele.
Brandon King made his first international appearance on the tour, partnering Llendl Simmons at the top of the order, which meant that despite Shai Hope’s outstanding form in the ODIs, there was no room for him in this XI. West Indies also left out legspinner Hayden Walsh Jr, which meant that left-arm spinner Fabian Allen was the only frontline spin option in the XI.
Oshane Thomas and Sheldon Cottrell were the main fast bowlers, with Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard also included.
Sri Lanka, meanwhile retained their two wristspinners from the ODIs, leaving room for only two main fast bowlers – Isuru Udana and captain Lasith Malinga. Niroshan Dickwella continued to be omitted from the XI, though Shehan Jayasuriya and Dasun Shanaka came into the side.
West Indies: 1 Llendl Simmons, 2 Brandon King, 3 Shimron Hetmyer, 4 Kieron Pollard (capt.), 5 Nicholas Pooran (wk), 6 Andre Russell, 7 Rovman Powell, 8 Dwayne Bravo, 9 Fabian Allen, 10 Sheldon Cottrell, 11 Oshane Thomas
Sri Lanka: 1 Avishka Fernando, 2 Kusal Perera, 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Shehan Jayasuriya, 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Dasun Shanaka, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Isuru Udana, 10 Lakshan Sanakan, 11 Lasith Malinga (capt.)