Hosts Sri Lanka managed to score 203/8 in 50 overs after riding on a brilliant half-century by Gunaratne at the end in the fifth and final ODI of the 5-match series. After winning the toss, Graeme Cremer decided to bowl first and his troops didn’t even disappoint their skipper.
In-form Nirosha Dickwella was the first batsman who was sent back in the hut for 3 by Chatara after he edged a good length delivery to give a straight forward catch to Peter Moor behind the stumps. Earlier, Cremer experimented with the bowling as he asked Sikandar Raza to bowl the first over.
Raza didn’t waste much time to respond in a positive manner as scalped Mendis who tried to play the ball through on-side but only managed to chip it in the air to give a sitter to Cremer at midwicket in the fifth over while he cleaned Upul Tharanga in 9th. Sikandar Raza eventually returned with figures of 3/21 in 10 overs.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews and Gunathilaka did try to provide the home side with some resistance but they were soon reduced to 4/78 after Mathews departed for 24. Gunathilaka though, went on to score yet another half-century of the series.
The Angelo Mathews-led side kept on losing wickets at regular intervals but Gunaratne’s half-century in the end added some crucial runs to their total. The series is presently level at 2-2 and if Zimbabwean side manages to chase down the target of 204 at Hambantota, they would notch up a record series win against Sri Lanka.