Sri Lanka have kept their hopes alive in Rocket tri-series with a five-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the fourth ODI at Shere Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Mirpur.
Zimbabwe opted to bat first at the toss. Openers Hamilton Masakadza and Solomon Mire made a slow start adding 44 in the first powerplay. Thisara Perera sent back both openers and no.3 Craig Ervine in no time.
In-form Sikandar Raza fell for 9 to Lakshan Sandakan, who was included in the XI. Raza was caught by a stunning catch from Kusal Mendis and short square leg. Zimbabwe were four down for 73.
Brendan Taylor and Malcolm Waller salvaged Zimbabwe’s innings with a 66-run partnership for the fifth-wicket. However, Sandakan picked Waller for 24 as his second scalp in the match. Taylor brought up his first fifty in 63 balls since his comeback to the side. He scored 58 runs off 80 balls hitting 6 boundaries.
Zimbabwe’s lower-order also failed to help apart from Graeme Cremer. The Zimbabwean skipper made 42-ball 34 with 3 fours.
Zimbabwe were bundled out for 198 runs in 44 overs. Thisara bagged four wickets for 33 while Nuwan Pradeep took 3/28.
Sri Lanka made a slow and steady start in a low run-chase. Tendai Chatara sent back Upul Tharanga for 17. Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis put on 70 runs for the second-wicket.
The Lankans were looking to be on top and just at that moment Blessing Muzarabani struck thrice in three overs. He dismissed Kusal Perera (49), Kusal Mendis (36) and Niroshan Dickwella (7) in his second spell to give side a chance. Asela Gunaratne fell to Kyle Jarvis later on.
Sri Lanka could not manage to gain a bonus point but skipper Dinesh Chandimal and Thisara Perera made sure they win the do-or-die game. They added 57* runs for the sixth-wicket to take Sri Lanka over the line.
Chandimal anchored the innings with 71-ball 38*. Perera finished the game with a six over midwicket. He hammered 39* runs off 26 balls with a four and 3 sixes.
Zimbabwe 198 allout in 44 overs (Taylor 58, Cremer 34; T Perera 4/33, Pradeep 3/28)
Sri Lanka 202/5 in 44.5 overs (K Perera 49, T Perera 39*, Chandimal 38*; Muzarabani 3/52)
Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets
Man of the Match: Thisara Perera (4/33 & 39*)
-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com