Harare: Sri Lanka stamped their authority over an ordinary looking Zimbabwe with a superb nine-wicket win in the final of the MicroMax Cup tri-series.
Openers Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan showed the hosts some of the best action the sub-continental teams are known for, and won the contest in style.
Dilshan was particularly in supreme touch, hitting the ball in whatever areas he wanted while his partner Tharanga was unlucky to go due to a run-out christened by Cremer. The rest was just a matter of time as Lankans were always on top of the mere 200-run target that was given to them.
Despite a valiant 71-run knock by Tatenda Taibu, Sri Lankan bowlers performed superbly to bowl Zimbabwe out for a below par 199 in the final of the tri-series on Wednesday.
Zimbabwe lost three wickets before they could reach 50 and never really recovered from that. Wicketkeeper batsman and former captain Tatenda Taibu, in company of Gregory Lamb, provided the much-needed stability to the Zimbabwe innings and helped them cross the hundred run-mark.
It’s a typical ODI knock from Taibu, which consisted of a lot of singles and doubles. With his knock, Taibu pulled his side out of the woods.
After playing the superb knock, Taibu finally became the second victim of Dilhara Fernando, who bowled a fine line and length to trouble the Zimbabwean batsmen. Taibu’s 93-ball knock consisted of just fours.
After losing Taibu, Zimbabwe lost wickets in a heap, which prevented them from accelerating in the slog overs.
Earlier, put into bat by Sri Lankan captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, Zimbabwe made a poor start in the all-important final.
Nuwan Kulasekara drew the first blood for Sri Lanka as he removed in-form Zimbabwe opener Hamilton Masakadza for just 4. Masakadza nicked an outswinging delivery from Kulasekara to the wicketkeeper Chandimal.
Centurion of the last match Brendan Taylor also did not last long as he was removed by Dilhara Fernando for 19.
Trying to increase the run-rate, Craig Ervine ran himself out for just 9, leaving Zimbabwe in a spot of bother.