Lankans stay afloat with 5 wkt win against Zimbabwe

Tri-series:Lankans stay afloat with 5 wkt win against Zimbabwe

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Dhaka – Sri Lanka notched up a five-wicket victory withThisara Perera’s all-round performanceagainst Zimbabwe and kept afloat their hope for a berth in the final of the seven-match Tri-nation series.Sri Lanka chased down a target of 199 runs, scoring 202 for 5 in 44.5 overs, where opener Kusal Perera played top-scoring innings of 49 off 57 balls, including four boundaries and one six, in the 4th match of the meet at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on Sunday.Man of the match Thisara Perera (39* off 26b; 1×4; 3×6) fired a six in the last ball of the match off Tendai Chatara to draw the winning line and shared an unbeaten partnership of 57* off 10.1 overs with the stand in captain Dinesh Chandimal (38* off 71b; 2×4) in the 6th wicket stand for a clean finishing, which has changed the league scenario making the next two matches,against host Bangladesh,as must-win for the final berth for both the visiting sides.Sri Lanka faced first jolt on 33/1 in 9.1 overs as Upul Tharanga (17 off 34b; 2×4) was bowled out by Tendai Chatara.Kusal Perera continued with Kusal Mendis for a partnership innings of 70 off 12.4 overs in the 2nd wicket stand, which ended on 103/2 in 21.5 overs as Kusal Perera was caught by substitute fielder R Murray off Blessing Muzarabani who found the next two wickets — Kusal Mendis (36 off 44b; 4×4) and Niroshan Dickwella — keeping the opponents on 110/3 in 24 and 117/4 in 25.3 overs respectively.  Muzarabani conceded 52 runs to get his three-for in 10 overs while Kyle Jarvis and Tendai Chatara took one wicket each for 34 and 40 runs respectively.  Batting first after winning the toss, Zimbabweans were all out for 198 in 44 overs where Brendon Taylor hit a half century of 58 off 80 balls, including six boundaries.  Taylor, caught by Upul Tharanga off all-rounder Thisara Perera on 171/7 in 37.4 overs, shared a partnership of 66 off 12.2 overs with Malcolm Waller in the 5th wicket stand. The only notable partnership innings in the 5th stand was ended on 139/5 in 29 overs, starting after the dismissal of Sikandar Raza on from 73/4 in 16.4 overs, as Waller (24 off 35b; 2×4) was caught behind by Niroshan Dickwella off Lakshan Sandakan. Zimbabwe started the innings with good note as their opening pair between Hamilton Masakadza and Solomon Mire contributed 44 off 10 overs. But they lost their wickets in a gradual interval before Taylor-Waller stand in the 5th. Nuwan Pradeep did a great job for Lankans bowling out three Zimbabwean wickets — Kyle Jarvis, skipper Graeme Cremer (34 off 42b; 3×4) and Blessing Muzarabani — within a span of 7 off 15 balls. Thisara Perera found four top order batsmen –Mire (21off 40b; 2×4), Masakadza (20 off 30b; 3×4), Craig Ervine and Taylor – conceding economic 33 runs in eight overs.Lakshan Sandakan bagged two wickets for 57 runs in 10 ovrs for Ssri Lanka.Zimbabwe will play the next match against host Bangladesh at the same venue on January 23 while Sri Lanka against the same side on January 25 before the final on January 27.  Playing two matches each, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka have secured identical four points while Bangladesh confirmed the final berth with two matches to spare securing all-win 10 points from two games.  Zimbabwe started their campaign with an eight-wicket loss against Bangladesh and found Sri Lanka for a 12-run victory. Sri Lanka lost another game against Bangladesh by a record 163 runs. UNB news agency

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