Sri Lanka rode on Upul Tharanga’s unbeaten 86 balls 75-run knock to level the series with a seven-wicket win on Sunday. Chasing a mere total of 155, Sri Lanka were off to a shaky start as Tendai Chatara dismissed opener Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis cheaply. But it was Dickwella and Tharanga’s 67-run third wicket partnership that eased out the pressure from the Lankans.
With just 155 runs, Zimbabwe bowlers didn’t have much to deliver. It was the 19th over when Graeme Cremer’s second delivery that stunned the Sri Lankan opener and saw him walk back in the hut. It then seemed that visitors can make a fightback but it was too late as Dickwella and Tharanga partnership had taken away the game from them.
Joined by Angelo Mathews, Tharanga forged an unbeaten stand of 81 with the captain to level the five-match ODI series 1-1.
Earlier, after winning the toss, Sri Lanka put the visitors to bat. It was a clear dominating performance by the spinners as Zimbabwe batsmen found it difficult to bat on the similar pitch where they defeated the Angelo Mathews-led side by six wickets in the series opener.
19-year old Wanidu Hasaranga became the third player to claim a hat-trick on debut, joining the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Taijmul Islam. Now the youngest bowler to make it into the record books, the legbreak bowler also became the fifth Sri Lankan bowler after Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga, Farveez Maharoof, Thisara Perera to take a hat-trick in the 50-overs format.
Hamilton Masakadza (41) and Craig Ervin partnership put Zimbabwe back in the game after they lost Solomon Mire for a duck. Hamilton and Ervin’s dismissal saw a downfall in the visitors’ innings as they kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. Malcolm Waller’s innings of 38 did push their total past 100 but Hasaranga’s brilliance with the ball ended their innings in the 34th over.