Chandimal and Asalanka guide Sri Lanka to win
Dinesh Chandimal (75) and Charith Asalanka (71) added a vital 129-run fourth-wicket stand as Sri Lanka recorded a five-wicket win over Zimbabwe in their 1st ODI of the three-match series played at the Pallekele International Stadium yesterday.
Sri Lanka chasing a target of 297 runs finally managed to get 300 for five wickets in 48.3 overs to seal their victory to take a 1-0 lead in this three-match series. Sri Lankan top order were in good form making good contributions to chase this total. The openers Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka came with a superb partnership adding 40 runs in 6.4 overs while Mendis was first to outscore 26 in 24 balls striking six fours and paceman Blessing Muzarabani made the first breakthrough to depart Mendis with a simple catch taken by wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva.
|Sri Lanka debutant paceman Chamika Gunasekara receiving his National Cap from Dinesh Chandimal before the match commenced yesterday at the Pallekele International Stadium.|
Nissanka and Kamindu Mendis who was promoted to number three added a 41-run second-wicket stand while Kamindu was bowled by Richard Ngarava. He scored 17 in 24 balls with a four and a six. Nissanka produced a fine batting display to reach his maiden fifty also added a valuable 66-run third-wicket stand with Dinesh Chandimal. However, off-spinner, Sikandar Raza was able to pick Nissanka’s wicket while wicketkeeper Chakabva held a fine catch to dismiss Nissanka who scored 75 in 71 balls with 10 boundaries. Former skipper Dinesh Chandimal used his experience to reach his 24th half-century by scoring 75 in 91 balls hitting 4 fours and a six while adding a match-winning fourth-wicket combination of 129 runs with Charith Asalanka who scored 71 in 68 balls with six fours and two sixes and this was his fourth fifty in his 10 match ODI career. Skipper Dasun Shanaka (10*) and Chamika Karunaratne (5*) including a winning boundary reached their target with nine balls to spare. Paceman Richard Ngarava was the successful bowler finishing with 3 for 56. The experienced Dinesh Chandimal was adjudged the Man of the Match.
Earlier, Zimbabwe opener Regis Chakabva (72) and experienced Sean Williams (100) made a superb batting display to build up their total of 296 for 9 wickets in 50 overs.
Skipper Craig Ervine won the toss and decided to bat first while the top order made superb batting display to make good challenge against Sri Lankan bowlers.
The openers Chikabva and debutant Takudzwanase Kaitano were able to make solid platform with adding 80 runs and that combination paved a way to other Zimbabwe batters to maintain good momentum. When Chakabva was at two runs he was lucky to survive with first slip Charith Asalanka dropped an easy catch off the bowling of Nuwan Pradeep in the fifth over and finally Chakabva got full advantage to making his runs all over the ground.The openers made 47 runs during first power play (10 overs).
The leg spinner Jeffrey Vandasay made first breakthrough in his first over which was the 15th over while Chakabva was out LBW scoring 42 in 50 balls striking seven fours. Skipper Ervine who played his 100 ODI and Chikabva added further 30 runs for the second wicket but Kamindu Mendis was lucky to get Ervine’ s wicket and he was clean bowled scoring only 9 runs. The former skipper Sean Williams joined with Chikabva to repair the innings with adding 50 runs third wicket stand while Chikabva who scored his fourth fifty finally out caught by wicket keeper Kusal Mendis off Vandasay and Chikabva’s 72 runs innings came with in 81 balls hit seven fours and a six.
However after the departure of Chikabva Sean Williams got full responsibility with his experience to continue his batting display to complete his fifth ODI century which came in 86 balls with 9 fours and 2 sixes. As soon as Williams reached his century he was clean bowled by Chamika Karunaratne at the last over but he did his full effort to build up challenging total for Zimbabwe.
Sri Lankan used eight bowlers but Chamika Karunaratne was the most successful bowler with 3 for 69 in his ten over spell while Nuwan Pradeep and Jeffrey Vandasay took two wickets each. Sri Lanka was named Chamika Gunasekara as debutant paceman yesterday but he was unfortunately bowled only one over given away eight runs and back to the pavilion with hamstring injury. The second one day between the two teams will be played tomorrow (18) at the same venue Pallekele.