Sri Lanka defeated Zimbabwe by 5 wickets in going past a challenging total of 296 for 9 in 50 overs in the first ODI at the Pallekele international Stadium.
The day-night starter reached a pitched showdown climaxing in a crescendo of runs after Zimbabwe’sShaun Williams set the ball rolling with an 87-ball 100 laced with 7 boundaries and 2 sixes after the visitors batted first.
But Sri Lanka’s opening batsman Pathum Nissanka smashed 75 off 71 balls cracking 10 fours in adding 40 for the first wicket with Kusal Mendis who made a quickfire 26 off 24 with 6 to the ropes. From there Charith Asalanka and Dinesh Chandimal set the tempo in two masterly contrasting knocks as Sri Lanka took control. Charith Asalanka 71 off 68 (6×4, 2×6) and Chandimal 75 off 91 (4×4,1×6) in a Lankan total of 300 for 5 off 48.3 overs. It took the game away from Zimbabwe spoiling Williams century party. Sri Lanka’s new found star, 24-year old Asalanka manning the pivotal No.3 slot and Chandimal, like old wine, the No.4, posted 129 for the fourth wicket.
Zimbabwe’s innings was bolstered by Regis Chakabva who contributed 72 off 81 (6×4). The pick of the Lankan bowlers was Chamika Karunaratne who took 3 for 69 and Jeffrey Vandersay 2 for 44, and Richard Ngarava 3 for 56 for Zimbabwe.
Chandimal was the Player of the Match.