Sri Lanka thrash Zimbabwe by eight wickets

For the second time in the series, a total of over 300 was chased down in an ODI in Sri Lanka. After Zimbabwe had achieved the feat in Galle, Sri Lanka responded in grand style in the third ODI at Hambantota. Hamilton Masakadza slammed a sparkling century to help Zimbabwe to 310/8 but it went in vain as tons from Niroshan Dickwella (102) and Danushka Gunathilaka (116) helped Sri Lanka achieve an eight-wicket win and take a 2-1 lead in the three-match series on Thursday.

Gunathilaka and Dickwella took the attack to the Zimbabwe bowlers as they stroked boundaries at will. The opening partnership went past 200 and it was the second time in ODIs between these two sides that Sri Lanka had strung a 200-plus opening stand. This was Dickwella’s first century at home while it was Gunathilaka’s first century in ODIs.

However, Sean Williams and Malcolm Waller caused some jitters as they removed the openers but Upul Thranga and Kusal Mendis steered the side home to a comprehensive win.

Earlier, Hamilton Masakadza hit a sparkling century as Zimbabwe posted 310 for eight against Sri Lanka in the third one-day international in Hambantota on Thursday.

Hamilton Masakadza (111) put on a crucial 127-run partnership for the second wicket with Tarisai Musakanda (48) before Sri Lanka’s bowlers struck back at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Cricket Stadium.

Hamilton Masakadza’s 98-ball knock, laced with 15 fours and a six, had Zimbabwe eyeing 350-plus at one point before a middle-order collapse pulled them back.

Teenage leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, who took a hat-trick on his ODI debut in the second match in Galle, and paceman Asela Gunaratne grabbed two wickets each.

Sean Williams contributed with a gutsy 43 while cameos from wicketkeeper-batsman Peter Moor (24) and Sikandar Raza (25 not out) helped Zimbabwe cross the 300-run mark. (Courtesy AFP)