Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe to keep series alive
Sri Lanka nervously chased down a modest target of 199 as they beat Zimbabwe by five wickets in a TriNation Series match at Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka in Bangladesh to keep their interests alive.
Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat and looked comfortable in their opening partnership before it was broken on 40.
Thisara Perera took the first of his four wickets removing Hamilton Masakadza four four before.
He accounted for the top four batsmen and most of them to loose shots as Zimbabwe failed to build on the start, his burst of short balls proving too much for the Chevrons.
Brendan Taylor would have been happy to pick up his first half century since his return to the Zimbabwe fold with a 58 ably assisted by Graeme Cremer (34) and Malcom Waller (24).
Nuwan Pradeep cleaned up the tail with all of them clean bowled as Zimbabwe were all out for 198 in 44 overs.
Sri Lanka were always favourites although it was a hard graft especially in the middle overs when Blessing Muzarabani rattled the cage grabbing three wickets in 12 balls.
The bowlers were aggressive, with edges simply dropping short at times.
But in the end it was never going to be enough Perera (39 off 26) together with Dinesh Chandimal (38 off 71) put on 57 for the sixth wicket to get over the line after 44.5 overs.
It was the second victory for Sri Lanka in 17 matches and the first of 2018.
Said Cremer of the performance:
To be honest, the wicket looked same like the other one, but played a lot different. We were probably 30 runs short with the bat. We need one of the top four to bat through the innings. Taylor played well, but we need one to bat till 45 overs. The seamers did quite well; maybe a bit inconsistent with the length. Credit to Chandi, they were always looking like winning with him there. We will come out hard day after tomorrow.
The two sides will now look for positive results against Bangladesh who they have lost heavily to.
Zimbabwe take on the hosts on Tuesday at the same venue.