The scare of a middle-order collapse had threatened to shatter Zimbabwe’s dream of their first ever win over Sri Lanka. Thanks to the versatile Sikandar Raza, this was not to be as Zimbabwe recorded their first overseas series win in eight years and first series win over Sri Lanka after beating them by 3 wickets.
Zimbabwe won the series 3-2, sealing their historic win. Off-spinner Sikandar Raza was exceptional in the bowling department as he took three wickets, with the help of skipper Graeme Cremer who who took two wickets with his marvellous leg-spin after they had elected to field first. Sri Lanka’s wickets tumbled in quick succession, with lack of partnerships costing them.
Gunathilaka and Gunaratne (52 and 59 not out respectively) offered some decent performances but ran out of partners. Opener Dickwella was dismissed by seamer Tendai Chatara for three, after basking in the glory of two successive centuries. This was followed by a dramatic loss of wickets for Sri Lanka and all they could manage overall was 203 for 8 after 50 overs.
Zimbabwe’s innings started on an excellent note with Hamilton Masakadza scoring a quick-fire 73. He was helped by Solomon Mire (43) as they provided a concrete 92 run partnership. However, the momentum was halted as Zimbabwe lost six wickets for 38 runs. The composure of Sikandar Raza (27) amd Cremer (11) secured the historic win for Zimbabwe with a mammoth 71 balls to spare.
The win highlights Zimbabwe’s steady and regained success in international cricket and provides hope for a victory in the Test match starting on 14 July.