CricketArchive

Kulasekara, Mendis demolish Zimbabwe
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter


Event:Bangladesh Tri-Series 2008/09

DateLine: 12th January 2009

 

In an innings where the top scorer is one Mr. Extras, it means that the batting team is stuck in some muddle. Kulasekara derailed the Zimbabwean innings while Mendis was as usual provided to be a handful fro the batsman. Sri Lanka demolished Zimbabwe in the second match of the Tri-Nation Tournament in Mirpur. Zimbabwe folded for 80, with only Stuart Matsikenyeri reaching double figures.

 

Ajantha Mendis also became the fastest to reach 50 one-day wickets as he finished with 3 for 15. Earlier, Angelo Mathews unbeaten fifty had helped Sri Lanka to 210 on a difficult wicket, while Ed Rainsford starred for Zimbabwe with the ball picking up 3 for 41.

 

After being put in by Zimbabwe under hazy conditions, the Sri Lankan openers made a solid start. Sanath Jayasuriya signalled his intent with two fours off Rainsford in the first over. But having lifted Elton Chigumbura for a six over long-on off the previous ball, Jayasuriya fell chasing a wide delivery and was caught by Hamilton Masakadza at first slip. Zimbabwe took their second Powerplay as Rainsford came back for a second spell and struck immediately, trapping Kumar Sangakkara leg before. Mahela Jayawardene was dismissed in Rainsford's next over, caught behind for a duck by Tatenda Taibu off a thickish outside edge. Rainsford continued to demolish the top order, and when Chamara Kapugedera was caught plumb in front for 4, Sri Lanka had slipped to 89 for 4 and another bowling change with Utseya bringing himself on trapped Tharanga lbw for 42.

 

However, Jehan Mubarak and Mathews battled bravely to get Sri Lanka get back in the game. They took a slow approach, with the primary aim of consolidating. But having taken the third Powerplay in the 42nd over, Mubarak took his chances against Price and ended up holing out to Sean Williams at mid-on, bringing an end to the sixth-wicket partnership of 69 and Sri Lanka could manage just 22 runs in the Powerplay. Mathews brought up his fifty in the 49th over, and his workmanlike innings ensured Sri Lanka to a reasonable total.

 

Kulasekara struck in the fourth over as he castled Sibanda and then plucked out two more wickets in the form of Masakadza and Taibu. With the top order out of the way, the innings lost steam and with it direction. One wondered with the Zimbabweans falling against the accurate orthodox seam bowling of Kulasekara, what would they do when they face the unorthodox spin twins and that question was answered immediately. Matsikenyeri was showing maturity and was trying to get some direction in the chase when Mendis came on and dismissed him as easily as swatting a fly away. When he dismissed Price through a stumping he became the fastest bowler to take fifty wickets. Thushara and Angelo returned with a wicket each and Murali picked up two wickets to send Zimbabwe to their demise. The Zimbabwean batsman looked completely out of their depth and towards the end the interest remained as to see whether Zimbabwe will reach the hundred run mark which they eventually failed to accomplish.

 

With this comprehensive win Sri Lanka have got themselves a bonus point and Zimbabwe for the fourth time got dismissed below hundred against Sri Lanka.

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