Openers Tillakarate Dilshan and Upul Tharanga set up a huge 139-run victory for hosts Sri Lanka over Zimbabwe in yesterday’s Group A Match at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy. The hosts have confirmed their berth in the Quarter Finals with 7 points so far. Sri Lanka after being asked to bat first having lost the toss got a massive opening stand of 282 in 44.4 overs with both Dilshan (144 from 131 balls with 16 fours and a six) and Tharanga (133 from 141 balls with 17 fours) scoring hundreds.
The hosts finished with a total of 327 for 6 in the allotted 50 overs. For Zimbabwe, medium pacer Chris Mpofu had some consolation taking four wickets for 62 runs in 7 overs. Zimbabwe gave a big scare to the hosts by putting up a terrific opening start thanks to Brendan Taylor’s superb hitting. However, Sri Lanka could come back into the match by making inroads and in the 25th over, Zimbabwe’s challenge collapsed when Brendan Taylor whipped a slower one from Angelo Mathews to mid wicket to depart after a 72-ball 80 (which contained 9 fours and a six).
After Taylor’s exit, Zimbabwe were rocked by Tillakaratne Dilshan’s drifters which accounted for four wickets, two of them falling in consecutive deliveries. Dilshan almost got a hat-trick when Graeme Cremer had edged his straighter one low to Mahela Jayawarde at slip who spilled the catch at the last moment. Mahela Jayawardene had taken a blinder of a one handed catch diving to his left to take a blinder in just the previous ball.
Zimbabwe collapsed to 188 all out in 39 overs with Muralitharan finishing the match with 3 for 34 in 9 overs. Angelo Mathews picked up the crucial wickets of Tatenda Taibu and Brendan Taylor. Tillakaratne Dilshan was the Man of the Match as he followed up his 144 with dream figures of 3-1-4-4 with the ball!