Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe in a thriller
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Ground:Harare Sports Club, Harare
Scorecard:Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka
Player:KC Sangakkara, H Masakadza, M Muralitharan, S Matsikenyeri
Event:Sri Lanka in Zimbabwe 2008/09

DateLine: 24th November 2008


Sri Lanka won the third match against Zimbabwe by five runs, to take an unassailable 3-0 lead at the Harare Sports Club. However, as the wafer-thin margin suggests, the Zimbabweans were in with a winning chance on more occasions than one, but a rather cool last over by Muthiah Muralitharan ensured that the Sri Lankans maintained their clean slate in the series.


Batting first in a rain-curtailed 28-overs encounter, Sri Lanka lost Mahela Udawatte early again, but Kumar Sanagakkara and Upul Tharanga played well enough to take the score to 41. Skipper Mahela Jayawardene also departed early, and while Chamara Kapugedera and Jehan Mubarak all added valuable runs, it was the half century by Sangakkara that propelled the tourists’ total to 171/7 in 28 overs.


Chigumbura scalped three, while Mupariwa got rid of four Sri Lankan batsmen.


The Zimbabweans surprised Sri Lanka with their response. Hamilton Masakadza and V. Sibanda went after the bowling to add 76 runs for the first wicket in even time, and that raised the hosts’ hope for a win. In fact, by the time Masakadza left, the hosts needed only 38 runs to win the match off 30 deliveries, with eight of their wickets intact.


The Sri Lankan spinners obviously played their part then, and reduced the scoring rate. But a six and a four off successive balls by S. Matsikenyeri brought the target down to 11 runs off the last ten deliveries. Unfortunately, the hosts couldn’t do much after that, scoring only five runs off these ten deliveries and handing Sri Lanka the match by 5 runs.


Masakadza was named the man-of-the-match for his 71-ball 77.