Asela Gunaratne (L) finsihed with the figures 3 for 10    AFP
Asela Gunaratne (L) finished with the figures 3 for 10 AFP

Sri Lankan spinners restricted hosts Zimbabwe for a paltry total of 160 in the final of the Tri-nation series at the Queens Park, Bulawayo. After calling it right at the toss, captain Graeme Cremer opted to bat first. However, like it was in the previous games, it started raining as the contest progressed. All the same, the Sri Lankan spinners took advantage of the rain-hit pitch. To make matters worse, Zimbabwe displayed poor shot selection, failing to build partnerships. Debutant Tarisai Musakanda remained the top-scorer for Zimbabwe with 35 off 54, while Asela Gunaratne took 3 for 10 in 4.3 overs to wind up the opposition. Live Scorecard, Zimbabwe vs Sri Lanka, Tri-Series Final at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe made three changes in their starting XI, eventually raising certain doubts. They went ahead with Malcolm Waller and Brian Vitori, leaving out Chamu Chibhabha, Brian Chari and Chris Mpofu. Meanwhile, Musakanda made his international debut. Having made three changes, they got in a new opening batsman in Peter Moor. This new move did not change their fortune, as Moor threw away his wicket in the first 5 overs. On the other hand, both Sri Lankan pacers Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Kulasekara dismissed Moor and Hamilton Masakadza respectively to reduce Zimbabwe to 19 for 2. Live Updates, Zimbabwe vs Sri Lanka, Tri-Series Final at Bulawayo

Sri Lanka had the upper hand in the first 10 overs, and they looked all set to take the game away from Zimbabwe. But rain interruption changed the course of the game.

When it resumed, the hosts had debutant Musakanda at the crease along with Craig Ervine. The duo batted with conviction, to stabilise the innings.

Hoping that the second rain break would induce some help for the spinners, Upul Tharanga brought spin into the attack from both the ends Vandersay and Sachith Pathirana. Both batsmen did have some moments of worry, but once they got their eye in, runs came with ease.

Vandersay finally brought in some success for the tourists. He bowled a short-of-length delivery, which Ervine (25) tried to flick but closed the face of the bat too early to lob the ball straight to the bowler. With this wicket, the 53-run stand between the two for the third wicket came to an end.

This wicket triggered Zimbabwean batting collapse. Musakanda looked comfortable playing in his first One-Day International (ODI), but good bowling from Vandersay did it for Musakanda (36). He tried to defend a length ball by coming forward, but eventually edged it into the hands of Dhananjaya de Silva at first-slip.

After this, Sikandar Raza and Malcolm Waller departed in quick succession. At one stage, Zimbabwe were looking good with 72 runs on the board for the loss of 2 wickets, but the quick fall of wickets saw the hosts being reduced to 117 for 6.

Graeme Cremer and Sean Williams tried to score vital runs, but their effort was halted by the Sri Lankan spinners. And eventually, the Zimbabwean side was bowled out for 160.

Brief Scores:

Zimbabwe 160 (Tarisai Musakanda 36, Sean Williams 35, Asela Gunaratne 3 for 10) vs Sri Lanka