Sri Lanka’s ODI home series loss to Zimbabwe will require some soul searching having gone down by 3 wickets in the decisive fifth and final ODI at Suriyawewa yesterday. While it evaporated home expectations of what was expected to be an easy stroll on home soil for Angelo Mathews’ charges, the 3-2 triumph was a shot in the arm ecstasy for minnows Zimbabwe having lost to Sri Lanka at home in both the ODIs and Test series to Sri Lanka. In that perspective, it was a hard to digest result for Sri Lanka who made a clean sweep of Zimbabwe in 2016 minus Mathews with Upul Tharanga captaining the ODI side and Rangana Herath the test team.
Yesterday, Sri Lanka could not mount a sizable total being bowled out for 203 with only Niroshan Dickwella (52) and Asela Gunaratne (59) making substantial scores. Sri Lanka’s bogey man was off spinner Sikander Raza who claimed 3 wickets aided by A. G. Cremer who claimed 2.
Zimbabwe got off to a perfect start posting 92 for the first wicket and moving to 137 for 2 before Sri Lanka clawed back in to the game claiming 4 quick wickets in the space of 38 runs reducing the opposition to 175 for 7. But Raza and Cremer resisted stoutly in an unfinished 29-run stand for the 8th wicket to take Zimbabwe home.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-