script Sri Lanka’s emphatic win

Published : 8:30 am  July 7, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (70) reads | 

Third ODI at Hambantota

Dickwella, Gunathilaka

script Sri Lanka’s emphatic win 

Hamilton Masakadza’s ton in vain

 

By M. Shamil Amit reporting from Hambantota

Openers Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka hammered maiden centuries as they fashioned Sri Lanka’s emphatic eight-wicket win in the third ODI against Zimbabwe at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Hambantota yesterday.Dickwella and Gunathilaka were also associated in a massive 229-run opening partnership as Sri Lanka took a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

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Niroshan Dickwella celebrates his hundred Dickwella, Gunathilaka 

 

Sri Lanka prevailed in what was a batting paradise with no threat coming to the batsmen as they raced to the target with ease after the foundation laid by Dickwella and Gunathilaka.  The two kept the Zimbabwe bowlers under control as Dickwella’s century which came off 116 balls had 14 boundaries and Gunathilaka’s 116 came in just 111 balls comprising of 15 boundaries and a six.  After their departure, Kusal Mendis along with Upul Tharanga (who made an unbeaten 44 in only 32 balls), saw the side through with the pair putting on an unbroken partnership of 75 runs for the third wicket as the hosts reached their target in the 48th over and with 16 balls to spare.  This was the second occasion that a 300 plus target was achieved by a team in Sri Lanka with the first being by Zimbabwe in the first ODI played at the Galle Stadium. 

 

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Danushka Gunathilaka celebrates his century 

 

This was also the first occasion a 300-run target was achieved at this ground and also this was the highest aggregate (622 runs) at this ground beating the previous best of 607 runs achieved in the game between India and Sri Lanka in 2012.DM_20170707_A024

Earlier, Zimbabwe invited to take first  lease of the wicket were propelled by a 98-ball knock of 111 by Hamilton Masakadza who added 127 runs for the second-wicket with Tarisai Musakanda from only 113 balls after they had lost the first wicket with 39 runs on the board.

The pair were on fire from the moment they came together before they were separated with the dismissal of Musakanda who missed out on a half century by two runs.  Masakadza did not last long thereafter and was dismissed having added 25 runs for the third-wicket with Craig Ervine.

 This was Masakadza’s fifth hundred of his ODI career and it included 15 boundaries and a six.  Zimbabwe managed to get pass the 300-run mark through some useful contributions from the late order batting with Lasith Malinga conceding 17 runs in the last over.  The two teams will play their fourth ODI on Saturday (8) at the same venue.
 

Pix by Pradeep Dilrukshana