Sri Lanka win tri-series

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Mehluli Sibanda

Sri Lanka 166-4 37.3 overs (Tha­ranga 57*, Mendis 57, Vi­tori 3/52) beat

Zim­babwe 160 all out 36.3 overs (Musakanda 36, Wil­liams 35, Gu­naratne 3/10, Van­der­say 3/50) by six wick­ets

A DIS­MAL bat­ting dis­play by Zim­babwe saw Sri Lanka win the Blue Moun­tain Achelleion Cup tri­an­gu­lar One Day In­ter­na­tional cricket series with a six-wicket vic­tory over the home side at Queens Sports Club yes­ter­day.

Sri Lankan skip­per Upul Tha­ranga compiled a pa­tient un­beaten 57 runs off 98 de­liv­er­ies, man of the match as well as player of the series Kusal Mendis also made 57 as the Asians made 166 for the loss of four wick­ets in 37.3 overs to romp to vic­tory. This af­ter Zim­babwe, who won the toss and opted to bat were cleaned up for 160 in 36.3 overs, the best score com­ing from debu­tant Tari­sai Musakanda on 36, Sean Wil­liams sec­ond best with 35.

It was a dis­ap­point­ing re­sult for the good crowd which turned up to wit­ness the fi­nal match of the tri­an­gu­lar series, a three-team con­test which also fea­tured West Indies.

Zim­babwe made three changes to the team which beat West Indies by five runs on the Duck­worth/Lewis method on Fri­day. Mal­colm Waller, Brian Vi­tori, Musakanda were brought in for Brian Chari, Chamunorwa Chib­habha and Christo­pher Mpofu. Sri Lanka picked all rounder Da­sun Shanaka as well as Jef­frey Van­der­say for Nuwan Pradeep and She­han Jaya­suriya.

Hamil­ton Masakadza and Peter Moor opened the bat­ting for Zim­babwe. Moor was the first to go for one run, dis­missed by Su­ranga Lak­mal, taken at mid wicket by Sa­chit Pathi­rana, Zim­babwe losing their first wicket with just eight runs to their credit. Masakadza was the sec­ond wicket for Zim­babwe, trapped leg be­fore wicket by Nuwan Ku­lasekara for 10 runs, the 22nd time the vet­eran has been dis­missed that way in ODIs.

Musakanda and Craig Ervine brought some sta­bil­ity to the Zim­bab­wean in­nings. The part­ner­ship was worth 53 runs un­til Ervine punched back a de­liv­ery from leg spin­ner Jef­frey Van­der­say back to an ap­pre­cia­tive bowler to de­part for 25.

Af­ter hit­ting Van­der­say for a six, Musakanda went next ball, get­ting an out­side edge to be taken at first slip by a div­ing Dhanan­jaya de Silva for 36 off 37 de­liv­er­ies, an in­nings made up of three fours and one six.

Pathi­rana, in his fifth over picked up the wicket of the in-form Sikan­dar Raza, out leg be­fore wicket for five, Zim­babwe in all sorts of trou­ble at 89 for five. Waller per­ished play­ing a big shot, caught and bowled by Pathi­rana for 14 to leave Zim­babwe on 108 for six.

A mag­nif­i­cent catch by Kusal Mendis at cover ac­counted for Zim­bab­wean cap­tained Graeme Cre­mer, Van­der­say pick­ing up is third wicket of the in­nings.

Wil­liams, the last re­main­ing bats­men for Zim­babwe fell for 35, un­done by Asela Gu­naratne’s spin, get­ting a lead­ing edge to present De Silva with a sim­ple catch, Zim­babwe eight down for 155.

Tendai Chisoro could not repli­cate his hero­ics against West Indies, be­com­ing Gu­naratne’s sec­ond wicket, caught be­hind by Niroshan Dick­wella for five runs. Gu­naratne fin­ished off the Zim­babwe in­nings when he trapped Vi­tori leg be­fore wicket for a twoball duck. Gu­naratne picked up three wick­ets for 10 in 4.3 overs while Van­der­say also took three, com­ing at the ex­pense of 50 runs in 10 overs. Vi­tori, bowl­ing for the first time in in­ter­na­tional cricket since he was cleared in June had De Silva leg be­fore wicket for a duck. In his third over, Vi­tori struck again, the dan­ger­ous Dick­wella bowled for a run a ball 16. Kusal Per­era be­came Vi­tori’s third wicket, look­ing to play a big shot only to pick out Waller at mid on.

Tha­ranga was put down on 18 by Masakadza at ex­tra cover off Wil­liams’ bowl­ing. A stun­ning catch by Wil­liams taken close to the bound­ary got rid of Mendis off Cre­mer’s bowl­ing. Tha­ranga reached his 50 from 97 balls, hav­ing put away six fours, get­ting to the half ton with a bound­ary off Raza. He fin­ished things off with a six to win it for his team.

Vi­tori ended up with three for 52 runs in nine overs, Cre­mer picked up one for 32 runs in 10 overs with two maid­ens. — @ Mdaw­ini_29 years and an im­prove­ment is needed next year. There were de­cent runs from Ngezi Plat­inum Stars af­ter the in­tro­duc­tion of Ton­derai Ndi­raya as well as new com­ers Bu­l­awayo City. It was not the same though for the other new com­ers Mutare City and Bor­der Strik­ers who fin­ished in the bot­tom two. ZPC Kariba, Harare City, How Mine, Tri­an­gle United, Hwange, Cha­pungu and Tsholot­sho will be happy with avoid­ing a bot­tom two fin­ish in the league.

Sri Lanka were clin­i­cal in the field to bowl Zim­babwe out for 160. — Getty Images

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