Perera halts Sri Lanka slide after win over Zimbabwe

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Sri Lanka's Thisara Perera plays a shot, as Zimbabwe's wicketkeeper Ryan Murray watches during the Tri-Nation One-Day International cricket series in Dhaka Sunday. — AP

DHAKA — Thisara Perera starred with bat and ball as Sri Lanka ended its recent dismal run by beating Zimbabwe by five wickets in the Tri-Nation One-Day International Tournament in Dhaka Sunday.

Perera claimed four wickets to lead an inspired Sri Lankan bowling attack that limited Zimbabwe to 198 all out before his unbeaten 39 helped the islanders to chase down their target in 44.5 overs.

Sri Lanka was in trouble at 145-5 before skipper Dinesh Chandimal (38 not out) and Perera put on an unbeaten 57-run stand for the sixth wicket.

Perera, who bats left-handed, sealed the win with a six to keep Sri Lanka's tournament hopes alive after it lost against Zimbabwe and host Bangladesh.

Zimbabwe paceman Blessing Muzarabani claimed three wickets to rattle the Sri Lankan top-order after opener Kusal Perera's dominating 49.

But the day belonged to Thisara Perera, who soon took the attack to the opposition with his 26-ball knock that was laced with a four and 3 sixes.

Chandimal, leading the side in place of injured Angelo Mathews, played the sheet anchor's role to perfection during his 71-ball stay.

Earlier, Perera ran through the Zimbabwe top-order, grabbing the most vital wicket of Brendan Taylor, who top-scored with 58 before his side were bowled out in 44 overs.

The 28-year old Perera, who bowls medium-pace, was ably supported by fellow paceman Nuwan Pradeep (3-28).

Left-arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan took two wickets before Pradeep wiped off the Zimbabwe tail including the prized wicket of skipper Graeme Cremer for 34.

The win kept Sri Lanka in the hunt for a spot in the final as it still has a game in hand against Bangladesh.

Zimbabwe, which beat Sri Lanka by 12 runs in its first match of the tournament, also can qualify for the final if it can beat the host in their next match Tuesday.

Mathews out

Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews was Sunday ruled out of the remainder of the tournament due to a hamstring injury.

Stand-in-captain Dinesh Chandimal confirmed the development after Sri Lanka's five-wicket win over Zimbabwe in Dhaka.

"He (Mathews) flew back home in the morning," Chandimal told reporters on Sunday.

Scoreboard

Zimbabwe

H. Masakadza c Tharanga b T. Perera 20

S. Mire c Dickwella b T. Perera 21

C. Ervine c Tharanga b T. Perera 02

B. Taylor c Tharanga b T. Perera 58

S. Raza c Mendis b Sandakan 09

M. Waller c Dickwella b Sandakan 24

P. Moor run out (Mendis/Dickwella) 00

G. Cremer b Pradeep 34

K. Jarvis b Pradeep 05

T. Chatara not out 02

B. Muzarabani b Pradeep 00

Extras (lb8, w15) 23

Total (all out; 44 overs) 198

Fals: 1-44 (Masakadza), 2-49 (Ervine), 3-56 (Mire), 4-73(Raza), 5-139 (Waller), 6-140 (Moor), 7-171 (Taylor), 8-191 (Jarvis), 9-198 (Cremer), 10-198. (Muzarabani).

Bowling: Lakmal 7-0-23-0, Pradeep 8-2-28-3 (w6), T. Perera 8-0-33-4 (w2), Dananjaya 10-0-45-0 (w2), Sandakan 10-0-57-2 (w5), Gunaratne 1-0-4-0.

Sri Lanka (target 199)

K. Perera c Sub b Muzarabani 49

U. Tharanga b Chatara 17

K. Mendis b Muzarabani 36

N. Dickwella c Sub b Muzarabani 07

D. Chandimal not out 38

A. Gunaratne c sub b Jarvis 09

T. Perera not out 39

Extras (lb3, w3, nb1) 07

Total (5 wickets; 44.5 overs) 202

Falls: 1-33 (Tharanga), 2-103 (K. Perera), 3-110 (Mendis), 4-117 (Dickwella), 5-145 (Gunaratne).

Did not bat: A. Dananjaya, S. Lakmal, L. Sandakan, N. Pradeep.

Bowling: Jarvis 9-0-34-1 (w2), Chatara 9.5-1-40-1 (w1), Muzarabani 10-0-52-3 (nb1), Raza 7-0-44-0, Cremer 9-0-29-0

Man of the Match: T. Perera. — AFP


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