Dilshan Blasts Sri Lanka To Bonus-Point Victory

Dilshan Blasts Sri Lanka To Bonus-Point Victory
Dilshan Blasts Sri Lanka To Bonus-Point Victory
©REUTERS/Philip Brown (ST. LUCIA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images

Sri Lanka 119-1 (Dilshan 60no, Tharanga 40) beat
Zimbabwe 118 (Masakadza 62, Randiv 3-23) by nine wickets
Tri-series One-Day International, Bulawayo

Tillakaratne Dilshan carved an aggressive half-century as Sri Lanka eased to a nine-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the third tri-series One-Day International in Bulawayo.

After rain reduced the game to a 26 overs per side match, Sri Lanka made good their decision to bowl first by dismissing Zimbabwe for 118 and they gained themselves a bonus point to top the table by knocking off the runs inside 16 overs with Dilshan unbeaten on 60 in 45 balls.

Zimbabwe struggled throughout their innings, which was held together on a low, sticky pitch, by a knock of 62 from experienced opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza.

He hit four fours and one six before being dismissed in what proved to be the final over of their batting effort, which was undermined by excellent bowling and fielding from Sri Lanka as well as an inability to keep the scoreboard moving at a decent rate.

Off-spinner Suraj Randiv returned three for 23 by dismissing Charles Coventry (11), Andy Blignaut (1) and Graeme Cremer (2) while pacer Dilhara Fernando and spinners Ajantha and Jeewan Mendis, the latter on debut, all took two wickets apiece.

The innings came to a rather sorry end when Ray Price was run out after being dropped in the 25th over.

Dilshan and Upul Tharanga (40) then came out and made it look as if they were batting on a different pitch as runs flowed before Tharanga was run out following a breakdown in communication with his partner.

He had hit six fours in a fluent 37-ball innings and Dilshan put the mishap behind him to lead his side to a comprehensive victory.

Dinesh Chandimal was unbeaten on ten alongside Dilshan, who stroked seven fours and hit one six.

With all sides having played twice, Sri Lanka top the table with five points; India and Zimbabwe have four points apiece but India have a superior net run-rate.

The tournament now moves on to Harare with India playing Zimbabwe on 3rd June.

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