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HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka: Zim­babwe clinched their first one-day in­ter­na­tional se­ries win against Sri Lanka af­ter beat­ing the hosts by three wick­ets in the de­cider to se­cure a 3-2 vic­tory yes­ter­day.

Zim­babwe cap­tain Graeme Cre­mer won the toss and sent Sri Lanka into bat, with his bowlers re­strict­ing the hosts to 203/8 in 50 overs. Opener Hamilton Masakadza then scored 73 runs to help the tourists reach 204 in the 39th over with three wick­ets in hand.

It was Zim­babwe’s first ODI se­ries vic­tory over Sri Lanka in six at­tempts.

Off­spin­ner Sikan­dar Raza played a key role in the vic­tory, fin­ish­ing with 3/21 — his best bowling fig­ures in ODIs, be­fore scor­ing 27 runs at the end of their in­nings.

Masakadza and fel­low opener Solomon Mire dom­i­nated Sri Lanka’s at­tack with a 92-run part­ner­ship which ended when Mire (43) was bowled by Gu­naratne.

Masakadza scored his runs in 86 de­liv­er­ies, in­clud­ing nine fours and a six. He was dis­missed when Zim­babwe’s to­tal was on 137, trig­ger­ing a col­lapse in which Zim­babwe lost five more wick­ets for 38 runs to reach 175/7.

How­ever, Raza came to the res­cue with a run-a-ball 27 to see his side through to a his­toric win. – AP

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