SL vs ZIM | 1st ODI: Fifties from Nissanka, Chandimal and Asalanka guide Sri Lanka past Zimbabwe

Abhishek Singh

Abhishek Singh

Author| Jan 16, 5:26 PM

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PC- Twitter

It was a thorough professional chase from Sri Lanka as they defeated Zimbabwe by five wickets with eight balls remaining to win the first ODI of the three-match series between the two sides taking place at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium at Pallekele. 

Three Sri Lankan batters in opener Pathum Nissanka, experienced batter Dinesh Chandimal and rising star Charith Asalanka played pivotal roles in the chase of a huge target of 297 runs set up by the Zimbabwe team. 

It all started well with a cautious start by the opening pair of Nissanka and Kusal Menids, who was making a comeback to international cricket after serving a ban of five months. 

After the 40 run opening stand, Mendis was caught behind the wicket by Regis Chakabva off the bowling of Blessing Muzarabani. Kamindu Mendis, who replaces, Kusal also had a decent stand with Nissanka as the two added 41 for the second wicket before Kamindu was trapped by Richard Ngarava. It was after the dismissal of Kamindu that experienced Chandimal walked in. 

Chandimal played the anchor role giving a free hand to first Nissanka and later on Asalanka to attack from the other end. He had a 67 run stand with Nissanka before the latter was removed Sikandar Raza and then had a match-winning 129 run stand with Asalnka before he himself was out courtesy of soft dismissal.

While both Nissanka and Chandimal made 75 each, Asalanka, after the fall of Chandimal scored more freely and reached his fourth ODI fifty in only his ninth match. However, he too couldn’t see his team home and became Ngarava’s third scalp after being trapped LBW for 71 off 68 balls. Skipper Dasun Shanka and Chamika Karunaratne saw the end of the game remaining unbeaten on 10 and five respectively. 

Earlier in the day, after winning the toss and deciding to bat first, Zimbabwe on the back of a century from Sean Williams (100 0ff 87 balls), a half-century from Regis Chakabva (72 off 81 balls) and valiant debut innings of 42 from just 50 balls by Takudzwanashe Kaitano managed to get to 296-9 in their 50 overs. 

The second game between the two sides will be played at the same venue on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022.

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