An outstanding all-round performance from Thisara Perera steered Sri Lanka to their first win in 2018 after losing back to back games against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh earlier this month. Sri Lanka outsmarted Zimbabwe by 5 wickets with over 5 overs to spare.
Summary of the match
Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat first on a wicket that offered plenty of bounce for new ball bowlers. They were off to another blistering start before Thisara Perera struck, dismissing both openers for 20 and 21.
In the 16th over, Zimbabwe were 4 down for 73 but a couple of missed opportunities helped Brendon Taylor and Malcolm Waller rebuild in the middle overs. However, a couple of wickets for Chinaman Lakshan Sandakan had them 6 down for 140.
A brilliant late spell from Nuwan Pradeep had Zimbabwe bowled out for just 198 in the 44th over of the innings.
In response, Sri Lanka were off to a cautious start but Tharanga was dismissed for 17. However, a partnership between the two Kusals took them past the 100 run mark with ease.
Muzarabani had other plans, picking three wickets at a stretch to give Zimbabwe the edge in the middle overs of the chase. However, Dinesh Chandimal and Thisara Perera held the innings to take Sri Lanka to a much needed win at Dhaka.
“First of all I am proud of my performance. As an allrounder, I am very happy today. All the bowlers, including me, did well. This is a relay baton – we want to do it at both ends. Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal did well. Pradeep has an injury but he did well. This is my natural game, otherwise I can’t survive in the international game,” said Thisara Perera who won the player of the match award.
Can Sri Lanka make it to the finals? How?
Despite winning quite comfortably, Sri Lanka are still at the bottom of the table, 0.09 less than Zimbabwe in terms of the net run rate. Here’s how Sri Lanka can qualify for the finals?
- Beat Bangladesh with a bonus point
- Wait for Zimbabwe to lose to Bangladesh by a big margin and beat Bangladesh
- Wait for Zimbabwe to lose to Bangladesh by a big margin and ensure if defeated, the loss is only narrow
However, if Zimbabwe manages to beat Bangladesh with a bonus point, they’ll be favorites to play in the finals against the same side.
By standard, Sri Lanka are still in the competition as the home side is well capable of beating Zimbabwe on Tuesday. at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur. However, it’s vital for Sri Lanka to beat Bangladesh irrespective of tomorrow’s result.
How convincing was yesterday’s win against Zimbabwe?
Sri Lanka badly needed the win to stay in the competition but looking back, the middle order is still rusty and the win was not as convincing as we thought it would be. The two Kusals were cruising at one point and the collapse could have been avoided if they were a little more cautious of the situation. However, the wickets was not the easiest to bat on under lights.
Yes, it’s a big win but Sri Lanka has to beat Bangladesh to make a stronger statement going into 2018.
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