In 1992, Sri Lanka chased down Zimbabwe’s 312 in New Plymouth grounds to become the first country to ever chase down a 300+ score successfully in ODI cricket.
Zimbabwe recorded a historic and shocking 6-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first ODI match in the five-match…
25 years later, Zimbabwe returned the favour by becoming the first team to chase down a 300+ score in Sri Lanka when they scripted a stunning chase in Galle.
After losing two wickets, the way Zimbabwe paced the chase was fantastic. Man-of-the-match, Solomon Mire scored 87 runs off his 112 through the leg-side which proves the way the pitch behaved with no terrors whatsoever.
“We should give credit to their batsmen who kept sweeping and reverse sweeping against our spinners. They took the spinners off the line, even though we bowled and fielded badly, they deserve credit for the way they batted.” Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews praised the Zimbabwean batting effort.
Sri Lanka’s poor fielding in recent times which was spoken, criticized and written about once again took the center stage with three catches being dropped. Mathews was extremely angry, and unhappy at the way his players dropped catches today, “We dropped catches at crucial moments. We have trained extremely hard on fielding, but it’s just that on crucial occasions we keep dropping catches which cost us the game. I’m very disappointing, very disheartening at the way we went about things.” He said.
Sri Lanka’s fielding woes on 30th June, 2017
- Niroshan Dickwella dropped Solomon Mire (17 at that time) in the 10th over off Amila Aponso.
- Danushka Gunathilaka dropped Sean Williams (13 at that time) in the 16th over off Lahiru Madushanka.
- Lasith Malinga dropped Solomon Mire (94 at that time) in the 29th over off Asela Gunarathne.
Last week, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara bashed the Sri Lankan team publically stating their fitness levels were not up to standards, “Sri Lanka is the only cricket team to have players with big bellies and it’s not surprising there are so many drops. Leave alone the catches, how many runs have leaked in the field. Look at the Bangladesh team. There aren’t any players with big bellies.” He said.
Photos : Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe| 1st ODI
The way left-arm spinner Amila Aponso bowled was very mediocre with the leaking 77 runs off just 8.4 overs. Zimbabweans scored 46 runs off Aponso behind the wicket using the pace of his deliveries. What was the thought behind bringing him into the side instead of a more attacking wicket-taking option in Lakshan Sandakan?
“Sandakan was sick yesterday and he had to leave early. The physiotherapist said that he can bowl in the morning, but Amila was also bowling well and he was fit. That’s why we thought of playing him. He was a bit sick.” Mathews mentioned.
Every cricketer, young or old is taught one important rule by all coaches, ‘Catches Win Matches’. Sadly Sri Lankan fielders, who are international cricketers, seemed to have forgotten that same rule.
“We all know that catches win matches. It’s a true fact so when we drop catches we lose. Against Pakistan we lost because we dropped catches and it’s the same story today.” Mathews stated. “It’s disappointing to see the best of fielders dropping catches. We have so many young guys in the team and we need to get the attitude and intensity right when it comes to fielding. Our attitudes in the field need to change.”
Sri Lanka will have only one day to recover from this shameful defeat as they take on Zimbabwe in the second ODI on 2nd July, Sunday at the same venue, “We don’t have to panic. We have four more games. We need to get our mindset right and do well on Sunday.” Mathews said.