Tharanga, Mendis steer Lankans to title
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (CMC):
Half-centuries from Upul Tharanga and Kusal Mendis lifted Sri Lanka to a comfortable six-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the final of the Tri-Nations Series here yesterday.
Playing at Queens Sports Club, Tharanga and Mendis both hit a joint top score of 57 as the Sri Lankans easily chased down a mediocre target of 161 in the 38th over.
They were precariously placed at 42 for three in the seventh over after left-arm seamer Brian Vitori, in his first game of the tournament, knocked over Dhananjaya de Silva (0), Niroshan Dickwella (16), and Kusal Perera (14) in quick succession.
However, Tharanga then anchored two key partnerships, putting on 75 for the fourth wicket with Mendis before adding a further 49 in an unbroken fifth wicket stand with Asela Gunaratne, who was unbeaten on 16 at the end.
Tharanga's unbeaten 57 came from 98 deliveries and included six fours and a six, while Mendis faced 72 balls and counted ten fours.
Zimbabwe, who beat West Indies on Friday to book their place in the final, had earlier been bundled out for 160 off 36.3 overs, with Tarisai Musakanda top-scoring with 36 from 37 balls and Sean Williams getting a patient 35.
Right-armer Gunaratne (3-10) and leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay (3-50) claimed three wickets apiece while left-arm spinner Sachith Pathirana took two for 26.