Team Sri Lanka fought until the very end but ridiculous stroke play towards the end of the innings swung the game in favor of Zimbabwe in the 2nd One Day International played at Dhaka last evening.
Zimbabwe went on to win the game by 12 runs where as sensible cricket would have taken Sri Lanka to victory.
With just over 30 to get at less than run a ball, a couple of ridiculous shots from Wainindu Hasaranga, Akila Dhananjaya and the experienced Thisara Perera resulted in Sri Lanka’s downfall. All they required was to rotate the strike instead of trying to hit every ball into the pavillion.
However, Sri Lanka can take plenty of positives from the game, especially with the bat. Thisara and Kusal Perera made it look ever so easy when they came to bat against the Zimbabwean bowlers. Thisara was excellent with the ball as well. Asela Gunaratne was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka with 3 for 37 in 7 overs.
After being put on to bat first, Hamilton Masakadza and Solomon Mire took Zimbabwe off to a flying start. Brendon Taylor and Sikandar Raza followed up with fantastic knocks to steer their side to 290 for 6 in 50 overs.
Raza made 81 in just 67 deliveries with 8 fours and a six under his name.
In response, a couple of early blows had Sri Lanka in some trouble but Kusal Perera steadies the innings with skipper Angelo Mathews on crease. Dinesh Chandimal was off to a good start but an unfortunate dismissal had him back in the dressing room.
When Zimbabwe had the game under control, a couple of hefty blows from Thisara Perera swung it back in favor of Sri Lanka. However, lack of support from the other end, resulted in another defeat for the men in blue.
“We were scrappy from the outset, gave away too many runs in the first 10 overs. They had the wickets in the last 10 overs to capitalise on it. The wicket settled a little bit after the dew came in, but we also had wickets in hand. The run rate was pretty good, but we just kept losing wickets. Thisara was fantastic with bat and ball and Kusal batted brilliantly. Unfortunately the others couldn’t convert that. Lots of positives. We can certainly improve and come back harder next time,” said Angelo Mathews at the post match presentation.
The last thing Sri Lanka should do now is panic. As far as batting is concerned, Sri Lanka are not short of talent. However, it’s important to find the right combination with the ball. Suranga Lakmal needs to step up and set an example to the youngster in the side.
Sri Lanka will face Bangladesh tomorrow at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
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