Sri Lanka seal the series 2-1 as Zimbabwe crumble to 70 all out
Sri Lanka made a comprehensive 184 runs win over Zimbabwe in their third and final ODI to take the series win 2-1 to get major honours at the Pallekele International Stadium yesterday.
Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka won the toss first time in the series and batted first without any hesitation to make a good challenging total. However, as they expected they couldn’t reach the 300 mark but their total of 254 for 9 wickets was enough to defeat Zimbabwe.
Sri Lankan bowlers dominated the game from the beginning and bowled them out for 70 runs in 24.4 overs and finally, this game ended with a one-sided affair.
Zimbabwe chasing their target of 255 runs came with high expectations. But they were struggling while Sri Lankan main strike bowler Dushmantha Chameera made an early breakthrough with back-to-back two wickets in two balls.
The opener Regis Chakabva was first to go out, scoring one run while Charith Asalanka took a fine catch at first slip and the very next ball skipper Craig Ervine went back to the pavilion with wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis taking an excellent diving catch.
These two early wickets from Chameera have produced more pressure for the opponent.
The experienced Sean Williams who was the most successful batter tried to repair the innings with opener Takudzwanashe Kaitano. However, he was clean bowled by the mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana making a breakthrough to finish Williams’ innings at 6 runs (21 balls) during the 8th over. They were deep waters with 20 runs for three wickets.
Sri Lankan team well executed their plan to get the early wickets of both Ervine and Williams which made it easy to win the game with the wickets falling during regular intervals. Zimbabwe were all out for just 70 in just 24.4 overs.
The opener Kaitano was the highest scorer getting 19 runs in 23 balls while others were not able to make good contributions with Sri Lankan spinners did a superb effort after Chameera’s early two wickets.
Jeffrey Vandersay was the most successful bowler finishing with 4 for 10 in his 7.4 overs while Chameera with his figures of 2 for 20 and off Spinner Ramesh Mendis, who was recalled for this game, took 2 wickets for 26. Earlier, Sri Lanka chose to bat first making 259 for 9 wickets in 50 overs.
The openers Kusal Mendis (36 in 41 balls) and Pathum Nissanka (55 in 66 balls) added a solid start with an 80-run partnership while Charith Asalanka, who made 52 in 56 balls was also named the Man of the Match. That was his second consecutive fifty of the series and his fifth of his ODI career.
The opener Pathum Nissanka who also made two fifties in this series was adjudged the Man of the Series.