Sport

Zimbabwe beat Sri Lanka to clinch ODI series

Zimbabwe beat Sri Lanka to clinch ODI series”

Taking the series 3-2, the 11th-ranked Zimbabwe team also registered their first series win in the South Asian nation.

Fifth one-day worldwide, Hambantota Sri Lanka 203-8 (50 overs): Gunaratne 59*, Gunathilaka 52, Butt 3-21 Zimbabwe 204-7 (38.1 overs): Masakadza 73, Mire 43, Dananjaya 4-47 Zimbabwe won by three wickets; win series 3-2Zimbabwe survived a collapse against Sri Lanka to seal their first major overseas one-day series win since 2001.

It was their first away win over any nation since 2009 and, perhaps overwhelmed by standing on the brink of history, they faltered badly in the final stages of chasing down Sri Lanka's 203-8 in Hambantota on Monday.

Sri Lanka suffered early on from a lack of partnerships but opener Danushka Gunathilaka (52) and Asela Gunaratne (59 not out) hit gritty half-centuries to steady the home side, though it was not enough to stop an inspired Zimbabwe.

Five further wickets fell for just 38 runs over the subsequent 11 overs and there were nervous faces on the Zimbabwe balcony with 29 still needed.

Seamer Tendai Chatara struck the first blow, having in-form batsman Niroshan Dickwella caught by wicketkeeper Peter Moor with the total on 3 in the second over. Sri Lanka bounced back after losing the first game in Galle with successive victories, but Zimbabwe hunted down a revised target on Saturday in the fourth match at the same venue with relative ease to push the series into the decider. Opener Hamilton Masakadza then scored 73 runs to help the tourists reach 204 in the 39th over with three wickets in hand, despite a middle-order batting collapse.



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