Bulawayo: Opener Pathum Nishanka struck an unbeaten century after Mahish Teekshana (4/25) bowled brilliantly as Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe by nine wickets in the Super Six stage of the World Cup qualifiers in India this year. Confirmed the ticket for the ICC ODI World Cup to be played from October 5.
Zimbabwe’s middle order faltered in front of Teekshana’s brilliant bowling and the entire team was dismissed for 165 runs in 32.2 overs. After this, right-handed batsman Nishanka ensured Sri Lanka’s victory by playing an unbeaten 101 runs in 102 balls with the help of 14 fours. Sri Lanka achieved the target in 33.1 overs for the loss of one wicket. With this win, Sri Lanka has eight points and the team has ensured their place in the top two of the table with one match remaining.
Zimbabwe needs to beat Scotland on Tuesday to automatically ensure their place in the top two of the table. If the team loses this match, then it will have to wait for the result of the match between Scotland and the Netherlands. Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bowl and the bowlers did not disappoint skipper Dasun Shanaka. Dilshan Madushanka (3/15) removed three of the team’s top-order batsmen in the seventh over. Sean Williams (56), who was in fine rhythm, then shared a 68-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Sikandar Raza (31) to bring the team back into the match.
Shanaka broke the partnership by dismissing Raza. After this Teekshana made Williams walk. The Zimbabwean team could not recover from these setbacks. The team lost the last seven wickets within 67 runs. Fast bowler Mathisha Pathirana also took two wickets. Chasing the target, Nishanka and Karunaratne (30) shared a 103-run partnership in 20 overs to script the victory. After this, Kusal Mendis (25 not out) supported Nishanka well and ensured the team’s victory.