Sri Lanka brush aside Zimbabwe to claim title
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 9th June 2010
The under-strength Sri Lankan side inspired by a blazing century from skipper TM Dilshan paved way for the Lankan side to brush aside the Zimbabwean side with ease. It was a comprehensive performance from the Lankan side as they were dominant from ball number one of the encounter.
Dilshan had no hesitation in electing to field first after the spin of the coin went in his way. It was crucial as there was assistance for the pacers on pitch that had moisture and the pace duo of Kulasekara and Fernando used the conditions expertly. The line and length was strangulating and the openers Taylor and Masakadza failed to get the ball off the square. Masakadza finally fell a beautiful leg-cutter from Kulasekara got the outside edge of the bat through to the keeper while Taylor after struggling in the middle guided a Fernando delivery to Samaraweera at gully.
Taibu then took over the scoring duties as he began to counterattack with an innings which consisted of some inside out shots over covers, sweeps (conventional and reverse) and some quick running between the wickets. The rebuilding process suffered a jolt as Craig Ervine was run-out but Taibu found support in Greg Lamb as the duo added 90 in 19.2 overs. That was the only semblance of fightback that the hosts could offer as the Lankan bowlers led by Fernando and Ajantha Mendis wiped out the lower order to restrict the hosts to 199 in 49 overs.
Sri Lanka in reply got off to a steady start as Dilshan and Tharanga ensured that the Lankans were never behind the run-rate. Though the batsmen rarely resorted to violent hitting the Lankans were always ahead of the rate. Dilshan and Tharanga opted for low risk batting and they only put the bad balls away that came their way. To Chigumbura's credit he always kept an attacking field with six men inside the circle though the fielding restrictions were lifted.
But Dilshan and Tharanga showed their class as they kept finding the tiniest gaps to get their singles and coupled with some aggressive running converted it into doubles. The Zimbabwean spinners who were the toast of the tournament till then finally found out that their fizz had gone missing. Once the required target came below 100 runs the interest was to which of the two batsmen would reach their individual hundred. Once Dilshan entered the seventies he began to throw his bat around and then ran out his partner Tharanga calling for a non-existent single. Dilshan got to his seventh ODI century and then ensured that he hit the wining run to help the Lankan lift the title.