Thisara Perera picked up 4 wickets    AFP
Thisara Perera picked up 4 wickets AFP

Zimbabwe failed to post a competitive target on board after electing to bat first. Brendan Taylor’s 58 helped his side reach a total of 198. Sri Lanka managed to chase the total under 45 overs with Kusal Perera(49) being the top scorer. Zimbabwe had their moments in the game, giving Sri Lankans a tough fight.

Thisara Perera was the star performer for Sri Lanka with the ball picking up 4 wickets for 33 in his eight overs and contributed 39 runs with the bat.

Well started, badly ended

Sri Lanka bowled a leg stump line in the start leaking runs for Zimbabwe. Hamilton Masakadza and Solomon Mire were well set till the 10th over of the match. The first five wickets added 135 for Zimbabwe. Taylor scored a fighting 58 and even built a 66 run partnership with Malcolm Waller for the fifth wicket.

Nuwan Pradeep winded up the tail picking up the last three wickets for seven runs including the important wicket of captain, Graeme Cremer who was looking set.

Perera-Tharanga partnership

Zimbabwe were wicket-less till the ninth over. Perera was got in to bowl the last over of power play as he dismissed Masakadza on the last ball. Perera dismissed the top four Zimbabwean batsmen of which three were caught by Upul Tharanga.

In the last match the same batsmen contributed 169 runs to the total of 290.

Blessing failed

Blessing Muzarabani took three out of Sri Lanka’s five wickets. He dismissed the in form Kusal Perera on 49. Kusal was the top scorer in the last match scoring 80 runs. He bowled Kusal Mendis who was looking good on 38. Sri Lanka seemed to be struggling at 117 for 4 as Niroshan Dickwella edged one to the keeper on Muzarabani’s bowling.

However, Blessing failed to take his team to victory and ended up with impressive figures of 3 for 52.

Thisara Perera and Dinesh Chandimal added 57 for the sixth wicket to register first win for Sri Lanka in 2018. Both Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe will look to win their last game against Bangladesh to qualify. Zimbabwe are on the second spot in the points table with a better run rate. If they beat Bangladesh in the next game, they will be through to the final.

This is Sri Lanka’s second win in last 17 matches.

Brief Scores:

Zimbabwe 198 (Brendan Taylor 58; Thisara Perera 4 for 33) lost to Sri Lanka 202 ( Niroshan Dickwella 49; Blessing Muzarabani 3 for 52) by 5 wickets.