Dilshan, spinners set up a huge win for Sri Lanka
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 1st June 2010
The Sri Lankan side registered their first points on the points table as they defeated the Zimbabwean side by nine wickets. The Zimbabwean side never looked remotely like the team that defeated India in the first match as the batting unit collapsed in a heap. The Lankan spin trio of Mendis, Randiv and Jeewan Mendis ripped apart the Zimbabwean middle-order as the hosts had no answer. The Lankans in reply got to the target with minimum fuss.
With unfavourable weather conditions reducing the match to 26 overs a side contest, Dilshan opted to field first believing that his seamers will take advantage of the wet conditions. But it was the Lankan spinners who did the damage as the Zimbabwean innings never threatened to dominate the Lankan bowling. Fernando started the Zimbabwean slide as he removed opener Taylor with an out-swinger and Dilshan sensing that the pitch was on the slower side opted for his spinners as early as in the sixth over.
Mendis, Randiv and Jeewan Mendis then combined to bamboozle the hosts' batsmen who had no clue as to whatsoever at what was literally thrown at them. Mendis with his carrom balls that had more zip than in the recent past, Randiv with his steady off-breaks and Jeewan Mendis with leg-spinners proved just too much for the hosts. The batsmen were tied down with the accurate bowling from the trio of spinners and when they tried to break free they got dismissed. Greg Lamb and Ervine were dismissed as they tried to get on top of Mendis while Jeewan Mendis and Randiv combined to rip apart the Zimbabwean middle-order.
For the Zimbabwean side only Masakadza stood firm as he scored a well paced 62 of 69 balls. Had it not been for the opener the Zimbabwean side would not have crossed even the 100 run mark. Zimbabwean could not bat out the 26 overs as they were dismissed for 118 with seven balls remaining in the innings.
The Lankans in reply were boosted by the attacking batting from the opening pair. Tharanga and Dilshan were ruthless on the Zimbabwean bowling as they cashed on some unimaginative bowling. The bowlers strayed in line and length repeatedly as none of the bowlers managed to put the Lankans on a tight leash. The openers added 86 in 10.5 overs before Tharanga got himself run-out due to some average calling between the batsmen. Dilshan on the other hand once again showed that he returning back to form as he got to his second fifty of the tournament. The Lankans achieved the target in 15.2 overs thus bagging a bonus point in their kitty.