ZIMBABWE FINALLY CLINCH A SERIES VICTORY
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