The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Zimbabwe ‘A’ humble pitiful Lankans


Left arm fast bowler Vitori stunned the bemused Lankan batsmen.

Sri Lanka ‘A’ suffered their second successive defeat in the ongoing ‘A’ Team Tri Series’ as Zimbabwe ‘A’ cruised to a convincing 5-wicket win at Harare Sports Club yesterday. Chasing an easy target of 161 runs for victory, Zimbabwe reached the it largely aided by knocks from skipper and opener Tino Mawoyo and Stuart Matsikenyeri who were featured in a 94-run partnership for the third wicket. Mawoyo made 66 off 104 balls inclusive of seven fours while Matsikenyeri made a 64-ball 44.

Medium pacers Tharanga Lakshitha and Isuru Udana finished off with identical bowling figures of 2 for 41 with the latter bowling three deliveries short of his quota. Earlier hefty left-arm seamer Brian Vitori took five wickets as Sri Lanka ‘A’ batsmen struggled to post a meagre 160 after being offered the first lease of bat.

Sri Lanka after suffering a heavy loss in the inaugural match of the series against South Africa by 161 runs on Friday faced a shocking setback when Vitori struck early by claiming Kusal Janith Perera (2) when the total just reached five. Vitori’s fifer included top five Sri Lankan batsmen as he left the visitors in a shackle by claiming the priceless wickets of skipper Dimuth Karunaratne (10), Chamara Kapugedera (0) and Angelo Perera (1) to have them in early trouble at 47-4. But his fifth victim Bhanuka Rajapaksa was more resilient with a knock of 57 off 67 balls with seven fours. Rajapaksa single-handedly took Sri Lanka to 95-5 before falling as the fifth wicket.
The bottom half of the Sri Lankan batting line-up too did little to their team apart from Dilruwan Perera who delayed a possible fumble with an adamant 29 after facing 80 balls. His epic knock included three boundaries. Apart from the partnership of 48 runs for the fifth wicket between Rajapaksa and Perera, the latter managed to add further 26 runs for the seventh wicket with Kosala Kulasekara (9) before he departed at 128. Sri Lanka’s inning which only had 13 fours, was however further strengthened by a partnership from Isuru Udana who remained unbeaten at 13 off 27 balls and Alvitigala. They formed 26 runs for the ninth wicket.

Sri Lanka ‘A’ 160 all out (45) (Bhanuka Rajapaksa 57, Dilruwan Perera 29, Isuru Udana 13n.o., Brian Vitori 5/37)
Zimbabwe ‘A’ 164 for 5 wickets (40.3) (Tino Mawoyo 66, Stuart Matsikenyeri 44, Tharanga Lakshitha 2/41, Isuru Udana 2/41)

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