Zimbabwe captain Sikandar Raza stepped down and smoked it over the bowler’s head. He wanted to finish it is style and he did it as well as Zimbabwe stunned Sri Lanka by chasing down their 317-run target in the first one-day international. Sikandar’s six, the winning shot, was the first of Zimbabwe’s innings which shows the ease at which they chased the target with six wickets and 16 balls remaining in Galle.
The visitors took a 1-0 lead in the five-match series after the win in Galle. This is the first time a team has managed to chase down a 300-plus total in Sri Lanka. The chase of 317 runs was scripted by Solomon Mire’s maiden ODI century off just 85 balls and his 122-run stand from 22.3 overs. Williams scored 65 runs. Once they fell to Asela Gunaratne, Sikandar and Waller took over and shared an unbeaten 102-run stand off 80 balls to steer their team home. Raza scored 67* off just 51 balls while Waller made 40* off 29 balls.
Zimbabwe’s first win over Sri Lanka in any format was a smooth run after two early wickets. Sri Lanka bowlers were taken to all parts of the park and the batsmen showed no nerves in a big chase. Sri Lanka failed to pick regular wickets and the bowlers were not helped by a mediocre fielding effort. Angelo Mathews any trick did not work either.
Lasith Malinga and Akila Dhananjaya picked two wickets early to reduce Zimbabwe to 46 for 2 after 10.4 overs. But, it took Sri Lanka another 22.1 overs to take the next wicket. Asela Gunaratne dismissed centurion Mire when he chipped one back to the bowler. In his next over, Gunaratne dismissed Williams to bring back Sri Lanka in the game. But, Raza and Waller increased the run-rate and won the the game with 14 balls remaining.
Sri Lanka would have been satisfied when they ended their innings with 316 for the loss of five wickets. After winning the toss, Mathews decided to bat and despite the early wicket of Niroshan Dickwella, they were in a strong position as Gunaratne and Kusal Mendis shared a 117-run stand for the second wicket.
Gunaratne was the first to be dismissed among the two but Mendis completed 1, 000 runs en route his innings of 86 before he offered a catch to Graeme Creamer.
Mathews stroked a 30-ball 43 and Upul Tharanga played an unbeaten innings of 79 runs off 73 balls to help Sri Lanka take their total past 300.