Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka Women Ease to Win Over Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's women were on the receiving end of another drubbing in Bangladesh this morning, this time at the hands of Sri Lanka. Put in to bat after Sri Lanka won the toss, Zimbabwe managed to post just 92 in a very slow 41-over knock, a target that Sri Lanka chased down in just just 11 overs. Full scorecard below the cut. The side are back in action again tomorrow, with a bottom-of-the-group clash against USA.
Zimbabwe 62 (41.4 overs; Nyathi 18, Seneviratna 5/15), Sri Lanka 64/3 (10.5 overs; Mendis 35*, Saili 3/19). Sri Lanka win by 7 wickets.

Zimbabwe Lose to Sri Lanka

Zimbabwe succumbed to a brilliant all round display by Tillekeratne Dilshan in the fourth match of the ICC World Cup in Palekelle on Thursday losing by 144 runs as the Sri Lankan opener blazed a century and then claimed a career best four wickets for just four runs with his occasional off spin. Dilshan hammered his runs from just 131 balls and shared a World Cup record opening stand with fellow centurion Upul Tharanga who crafted a marginally more sedate 133 from 141 deliveries with 17 fours.

Zimbabwe's decision to bowl first surprised many observers but with an attack comprising four spinners, captain Elton Chigumbura felt he had no option given the amount of dew which forms on the outfield after sunset in this picturesque, mountain city. "In order for them to grip the ball and be most effective we needed to use the dry conditions in the first innings but the plan didn't work and they batted extremely well," Chigumbura said afterwards.

Tinashe Panyangara's selection as a second frontline fast bowler alongside Chris Mpofu backfired immediately when his first over cost 18 runs and the home side were off to a flying start. Indeed, with 77 runs on the board after just 10 overs and rapid progress maintained by the openers for much of the innings, Sri Lanka seemed set for an even larger total until the spinners regained some control towards the end and stemmed the scoring rate. Mpofu collected four quick wickets in the final overs when the slog was on to finish with figures of 4-62 from his seven overs.

A target of 328 for victory was always likely to be a challenge too far for Zimbabwe although Brendan Taylor's brilliant 80 from just 72 balls during an opening stand of 116 with the composed and organised Reggie Chakabva (35 from 61 balls) briefly gave the underdogs hope. Taylor's shot selection and execution was as good as any seen from an opening batsman during the tournament so far but when he was dismissed, caught pulling a slower ball to mid wicket, the rest of the batting suffered an all-too-familiar collapse.

"It was especially disappointing to lose in that way after such a good start," said batting coach Grant Flower. "Brendan batted beautifully but we needed more contributions to sustain the run chase. It didn't happen and we're all very upset about that."

Zimbabwe's last chance of gaining entry into the quarter finals now rests with an upset victory against Pakistan in their penultimate match against Pakistan at the same venue on Monday and an overwhelming win against Kenya in their final match in Kolkata on March 20. Full scorecard for this match is below the cut.
Sri Lanka 327/6 (50 overs; Dilshan 144, Mpofu 4/62). Zimbabwe 188 (39 overs; Taylor 80, Dilshan 4/4). Sri Lanka win by 139 runs.
[Match report via ZC]

Sri Lanka Thrash Zimbabwe to Claim Tri-Series Trophy

So far this series, there's been one simple rule: bat second, win the match. With Sri Lanka winning the toss and opting to field this morning, the pressure was immediately on Zimbabwe to be the exception to that rule - but setting a target has never been something that this side has looked overly comfortable with, and so it proved this morning. The innings got off to a bad start with the early departures of dynamic duo Hamilton Masakadza (4) and Brendan Taylor (19), while Craig Ervine (9) was run out before really getting a chance to settle. The fourth-wicket pairing of Tatenda Taibu (71) and Greg Lamb (37) finally managed to build a reasonable partnership, adding 90 before Taibu departed, but if there was any hope that the big hitters of the middle order, Chigumbura and Coventry, would arrive like the cavalry to save Zimbabwe's innings, it was misplaced as they too failed to make much of an impact. It didn't help that Zimbabwe waited until after their recognised batsmen had departed to call the batting powerplay, surely a tactical error on Chigumbura's part. The wickets continued to fall cheaply through the lower order, too, as Sri Lanka turned the tables and did to Zimbabwe what Zim had done to them two days earlier and bowled them out for a decidedly sub-par 199. Dilhara Fernando led the Sri Lankan bowling figures with 3/36, while Ajantha Mendis and Jeevan Mendis chipped in with a pair apiece.

While Zimbabwe's innings was slow and laboured, though, Sri Lanka had no such problem - it had been expected before the match that the pitch would become more batsman-friendly as the day went on, and the opening pair of Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan proved that prediction true. They looked set to see out the innings on their own and were racing along at over six an over for most of their innings before an unfortunate mixup in the 26th over led to the run-out of Tharanga for 72. That brought Dinesh Chamdinal to the crease with the score on 160/1, 40 short of the target, and he and Dilshan made short work of knocking those runs off, reaching the target in the 35th over & with Dilshan claiming his ton in the previous over. Zimbabwe's bowlers ended the match without a wicket between them - Greg Lamb was the most economical, conceding 24 runs from his six overs, but nothing really there to write home about.

No fairytale ending to the series for Zimbabwe, then, but we can still hold our heads high after some sparkling performances in the group stage. Full scorecard below the cut.
Zimbabwe 199 (49 overs; Taibu 71, Fernando 3/36), Sri Lanka 203/1 (34.4 overs; Dilshan 108*, Lamb 0/24). Sri Lanka win by 8 wickets.

Zimbabwe Finish Top After Win Over Sri Lanka

Before today, it had been seven years since Zimbabwe last beat Sri Lanka, but Zim finally broke that losing streak with another convincing win at Harare Sports Club on Monday. It's perhaps the biggest indicator of how well Zimbabwe have performed in this series that, ahead of the match, many were seeing Zimbabwe as favourites - a status that wasn't harmed by Zimbabwe winning the toss and opting to field. So far in this series, the winner has always been the team batting second, and that record continued.

It initially didn't look that way, though, as Sri Lanka got off to their best start of the series as openers Upul Tharanga (69) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (78) fired Sri Lanka to 122 before the first wicket fell. Their blazing start was partly down to Zimbabwe experimenting with a seam attack that wasn't really firing too well - Chamu Chibhabha (0/40) and Elton Chigumbura (0/32) both took four overs each and got hammered for their trouble - but with the first wicket down, the spinners arrived on the scene and the process of strangling the opposition began, and with it frustration set in amongst the Sri Lankans that proved to be their undoing. From 122/1, the rest of the visitors' batting lineup managed to add only another 114 between them as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 236 with 13 balls to spare. Chris Mpofu (2/32), Graeme Cremer (2/33) and Prosper Utseya (2/41) took two apiece, while some top-class 'keeping by Tatenda Taibu contributed a further two wickets, and from a strong position Sri Lanka were suddenly looking to be the team in trouble.

Come their chance to reply, Zimbabwe remained the dependable batting side that they've been in all their 50-over matches this season. Hamilton Masakadza, who just a few days ago celebrate his marriage, had a rare off day, managing just 3 before holing out. But Brendan Taylor (119*) and Chamu Chibhabha (58) set the tone for Zimbabwe's chase with a steady, unhurried partnership of 134 for the second wicket before Chibhabha was trapped leg-before. That brought Tatenda Taibu (42*) to the crease, who together with Taylor completed the chase with the minimum of fuss. That left Zimbabwe sitting pretty at the top of the tournament table with three wins from four matches, a position that just a few weeks ago most Zim fans would have discounted as impossible. The two sides now meet again in the series final on Wednesday - Zimbabwe have never before won a tri-series that featured only Full Member sides, but with the way they've been performing so far, who would rule out the possibility that Zim's time is about to come? Full scorecard below the cut.
Sri Lanka 236 (47.5 overs; Dilshan 78, Mpofu 2/32), Zimbabwe 240/2 (47.5 overs; Taylor 119*, Dilshan 1/35). Zimbabwe win by 8 wickets.

Sri Lanka Win Knocks India Out of Tri-Series

Sri Lanka eased their way to victory over India in Harare today, claiming payback for their earlier defeat in the tournament and in doing so ensuring that Sri Lanka will meet Zimbabwe in the tri-series final on Wednesday. India posted a respectable-looking 268/9 from their 50 overs, led by Virat Kohli's 68, but some poor bowling and a confident 111 from Dinesh Chandimal made sure that the Sri Lankan's came out on top this time around.

Before the final, Zim and Sri Lanka will also meet in the final group stage match of the series, on Monday - a dead rubber as far as this tourney is concerned, but still a ranking match and with Zimbabwe's recent record against Sri Lanka not being great, it'll be a chance for the home side to get a good handle on what they'll be up against. Here's hoping they don't waste the opportunity.
India 268/9 (50 overs; Kohli 68, Thushara 3/57), Sri Lanka 270/4 (48.2 overs; Chandimal 111, Ashwin 2/50). Sri Lanka win by 6 wickets.

Zim Capitulate to Sri Lanka

Zimbabwe showed their best form last Friday in their triumph over India; on Tuesday they showed their worst side as they capitulated easily to Sri Lanka by nine wickets. The match was reduced to 26 overs a side after heavy early-morning rain delayed the start until one o’clock, but had no excuse for a poor batting and bowling display that handed the tourists the match with more than ten overs to spare.

It was considered quite a disadvantage to Zimbabwe to lose the toss in these circumstances, and be put in to bat. They soon lost Brendan Taylor, who tamely edged a ball to the keeper in the second over. First Greg Lamb (10) and Craig Ervine (7) gave Hamilton Masakadza useful support for a while until both got out with strokes of frustration; with good bowling and a heavy pitch, quick run-getting was not easy. After ten overs, the score was 61 for two.

Charles Coventry scored 11, including a trademark big six, but then skied a boundary catch, making Zimbabwe 83 for four. Then disaster struck, as five wickets were to fall for only nine runs, including those of the two big hitters, Elton Chigumbura and Andy Blignaut. Chigumbura pulled a long hop from Jeevan Mendis on to his stumps, while Blignaut edged a catch groping outside the off stump; both scored only a single.

Raymond Price at last showed some fighting spirit, keeping his end up while Masakadza carried on batting superbly. He went to his fifty off 51 balls, and the 100 came up after 21 overs. Masakadza was finally out in the penultimate over, caught on the boundary at cow corner. His 62 came off 69 balls, and he hit four fours and one six. Next ball the innings closed, as Price skied a ball into the covers and the difficult catch was dropped, only for Price to attempt a ridiculous second run and get run out.

Zimbabwe had contrived to get themselves all out for 118 with seven balls still in hand. Extras, with 13, was the second best scorer. The most successful bowler was Suraj Randiv, with three wickets during Zimbabwe’s middle-order collapse. Nobody doubted the likelihood of Sri Lanka polishing off the runs with little difficulty.

Chris Mpofu began with a maiden over, although there were four leg-byes. But his next over was poor, Upal Tharanga hitting short wide balls for three fours in the backward point region. Tillakaratne Dilshan soon got in on the act and the boundaries flowed; it looked a different pitch altogether to that Zimbabwe batted on. They made 86 in less than 11 overs before Tharanga (40) looked for a quick single in the covers, but was sent back and run out, thanks to some quick work from Prosper Utseya.

Chigumbura again had problems with his bowling, his first two balls being slashed by Dilshan through point for four. In the next over the Sri Lankan captain reached his fifty off 34 balls. Runs flowed, with both Chigumbura and Cremer spraying the ball all over the pitch, and when a wide from Mpofu ended the match, Dilshan was unbeaten with 60 off 45 balls, with seven fours and a six. Each team now has one victory in this tournament, but Zimbabwe, after their good start, are now the team under pressure. Full scorecard below the cut.
Zimbabwe 118 (24.5/26 overs; Masakadza 62, Randiv 3/23), Sri Lanka 119/1 (15.2/26 overs; Dilshan 60*, Price 0/14). Sri Lanka win by 9 wickets.
[Source: ZC]

India Ease Past Sri Lanka

India eased past Sri Lanka to get themselves on the board in the tri-series - and if they can beat Sri Lanka, surely we can on Tuesday. If only life were that easy. Sri Lanka, batting first, spent most of their innings pinned down and ended up with what turned out to be sub-par score - and one that India had no problems chasing. Net Run Rate still leaves Zimbabwe in unfamiliar ground at the top of the tournament table.
Sri Lanka 242 (49.5 overs; Mathews 75, Dinda 2/44, Ojha 2/44), India 243/3 (43.3 overs; Sharma 101*, Kulasekara 1/34). India win by 7 wickets.

Zim Squad Named for Tri-Series

Zimbabwe's squad for the tri-series against India and Sri Lanka has been named, with Ed Rainsford being the only change to the side from the World Twenty20, replacing Kyle Jarvis who has a long-term back injury. Chris Mpofu is also still carrying an injury, but chief selector Alastair Campbell has indicated that this hopefully won't affect his ability to play. The full squad is:
Elton Chigumbura (captain), Gregory Lamb, Tatenda Taibu (wicketkeeper), Vusimuzi Sibanda, Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza, Prosper Utseya, Graeme Cremer, Raymond Price, Edward Rainsford, Christopher Mpofu, Andy Blignaut, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Charles Coventry.

India Name Second-String Side for Tri-Series

The BCCI have named a second-string side for the tri-series against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, which gets underway in Bulawayo on May 28th. The named squad is:

M Vijay, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Suresh Raina (capt), Virat Kohli (vice-capt), Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Ashok Dinda, Pankaj Singh, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Naman Ojha

That should make the series a little more interesting - and gives Zimbabwe a good chance of picking up some ODI rating points. On the other hand, it's a bit of a slap in the face for ZC, as the national side need to be playing full-strength opposition if their readiness for a Test return is to be fairly assessed.

Zimbabwe Lose to Sri Lanka as Rains Disrupt Play

Bad weather denied Zimbabwe the chance of a tough run-chase to get their ICC World Twenty20 campaign off on a positive note, as they lost to Sri Lanka by 14 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method at the Providence Stadium in Guyana on Monday.

Sri Lanka had won the toss and batted first, scoring 173 for seven in 20 overs as Mahela Jayawardena took advantage of a couple of moments of poor fielding to score a scintillating 100 off 64 balls. Jayawardena opened the batting and drove Sri Lanka to 73 for one after eight overs. But with the run-rate threatening to get out of control, the spinners put the brakes on and ensured one of the tournament favourites did not get away from them in the second half of the innings.

Thissara Perera planted two sixes in the cow corner area but was then dismissed for 23, Elton Chigumbura taking a fine catch running around the boundary off Greg Lamb.

Thereafter, the spinners nipped all Jayawardena's partners in the bud.

Leg-spinner Graeme Cremer obtained some turn and bounce to dismiss Kumar Sangakkara for three and Ray Price deceived both Chamara Kapugedera (13) and Jayawardena with the last two balls of his bowling stint.

Price covered himself in glory with figures of two for 31 in four overs, while Prosper Utseya snared one for 32, Lamb two for 34 and Cremer one for 23 in three. A furious rain storm interrupted Zimbabwe's chase after just one over, with the score four without loss.

After the tropical weather had had its say, Zimbabwe returned with a Duckworth/Lewis revised target of 105 in 11 overs.

Tatenda Taibu and Hamilton Masakadza went about building the platform for a late five-over flurry, wickets in hand being one of the keys to success in this format.

Taibu's strength lies in his speed between the wickets and improvisation, but this was a weakness on this occasion as the wicketkeeper squeezed a ball from Lasith Malinga to third man and came back for a second run that had Hamilton Masakadza in two minds, and eventually he was run out for four.

Both Taibu (12*) and Brendan Taylor (11*) looked in good touch, however, as they took Zimbabwe to 29 for one after five overs. Sri Lanka had just fitted in the minimum number of overs for a result when the Providence Stadium was inundated by another rain shower, with Zimbabwe short of the 44 runs they needed to score in five overs.

Full scorecard below the cut. Zimbabwe will now need to win against New Zealand in their final pool game in Guyana on Tuesday, and hope that they can close the net run rate gap by enough to edge past New Zealand.
Sri Lanka 173/7 (20/20 overs; Jayawardene 100, Price 2/31), Zimbabwe 29/1 (5/5 overs; Taibu 12*, Mendis 0/9). Sri Lanka win by 14 runs (D/L Method).
[Match report provided by ZC]

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