Sri Lanka beat Zim clinch Tri-Nation series


An opening partnership of 169 from 159 balls between the Sri Lankan captain Tillekeratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga inspired the visitors to a convincing nine wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the final of the Micromax Cup at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
The Sri Lankan captain put an unbeaten century on the scoreboard (108 from 102 balls) in a knock that included 14 fours while Upul Tharanga was run out on 72 from 79, with his knock including eight fours and a six before departing in the 25th over.
The visitors bounced back from Monday’s eight wicket defeat in style while Tharanga also won the man- of- the match award in the victory achieved with 92 balls to spare.
The visitors won the toss and Dilshan chose to field, dismissing the hosts for a paltry 199 all out in 49 overs.
Dilhara Fernando was the pick of the bowlers with outstanding figures of 3-36 while spinners Jeevan Mendis and Ajantha chipped in 2-36 and 2-44 respectively as Zimbabwe failed to live up to the weight of expectations.
The Zimbabwean bowlers failed to find any breakthrough for the entire match in trying to defend their meager total and just like their fellow batsmen the bowlers seemed overawed by the occasion in which they could have wrote their own piece of history by winning a maiden Tri-Nations series against Test playing nations.
The Zimbabwean batting line-up seemed clueless. Tatenda Taibu was the only batsmen to offer any resistance with a gritty 71 from 93 balls, while Graig Lamb chipped in with 37 from 65 deliveries.
Their partnership yielded 91 runs before Taibu was caught by Chamara Kapugedera at point off the bowling of Fernando.
The failure to build any partnerships proved to be Zimbabwe’s biggest undoing.