After a stunning victory in the first ODI against Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe failed to continue the momentum in the second ODI as they succumbed to a dramatic defeat. However, this has made the upcoming match in Hambantota quite an interesting contest as the five-match series is tied at 1-1 and whoever wins the next game will surely have the upper hand. But can the visitors spring another surprise will be the question on everyone’s lips.
From Zimbabwe, a lot was expected from them after the batting performance in the first ODI but all they could muster in the next game in the second ODI was a paltry 155. For the hosts, it brought the much-needed confidence back. Wanidu Hasaranga was the star of the show as picked a hattrick on debut. Hence, he will be the one to watch out for. Lakshan Sandakan is another spinner whom the African side will be wary about as he picked four wickets in the last match. However, the fielding still needs some improvement as three catches were grassed in the 2nd ODI by the Lankans.
For Zimbabwe the task is clear. They need to pull up their socks and try to emulate the performance that they gave in the first ODI. Solomon Mire will need to prove that his hundred in the first ODI was not a fluke and that he has it in him to go the distance. The others – Craig Ervine, Tarisai Musakanda, Sean Williams, Graeme Cremer also need to support him so that pressure doesn’t build up on him. The bowlers also need to step up as they haven’t been able to dismiss the opposition or pick up wickets at regular intervals. If Zimbabwe can click in the three aspects of the game then we may well be in a mouth-watering contest.
Sri Lanka: Danushka Gunathilaka, Upul Tharanga, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews(c), Niroshan Dickwella(w), Asela Gunaratne, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Madushanka, Wanidu Hasaranga, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Malinga, Amila Aponso.
Zimbabwe: Solomon Mire, Hamilton Masakadza, Craig Ervine, Tarisai Musakanda, Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams, Graeme Cremer(c), Peter Moor(w), Sikandar Raza, Chamu Chibhabha, Ryan Burl, Chris Mpofu, Tendai Chatara, Donald Tiripano, Wellington Masakadza, Richard Ngarava.