Sri Lanka Emerging XI managed to record a thrilling win over Zimbabwe Emerging XI by winning the last one day match of the three match one day series with 2 wickets to spare.
Zimbabwe Emerging XI stand-in captain Neville Madziva won the toss and elected to bat first in Harare.
Zimbabwe Emerging XI got off to a good start as their opening batsmen Charles Kunje and Kevin Kasuza put on a 53 run partnership for the first wicket. Charles Kunje was dismissed for 28 runs by the left arm spinner Lasith Ambuldeniya as the first wicket. Then it saw another 53 run partnership for the second wicket by Kevin Kasuza and Tarisai Musakanda. Right arm fast medium bowler Keshan Wijerathne broke the partnership as Kevin Kasiza got out for 41 runs off 68 balls.
Tarisai Musakanda got his second half century of the tournament with 51 runs off 69 balls. At one stage Zimbabwe were 155 for 2 after 33.1 overs, but regular wickets from Kasun Madushanka and Lasith Embuldeniya slowed Zimbabwe down to 169 for 6. Zimbabwe continued to lose wickets, but a little cameo from number ten batsman Steve Chimhamhiwa helped Zimbabwe to pose a total of 232 all out in 49.4 overs. Chimhamhiwa scored 30 runs off 15 balls which included 3 fours and 2 sixes.
For Sri Lanka, left-arm spinner, Lasith Embuldeniya (31/3) and Kasun Madushanka (47/3) picked up three wickets each. Anuk Fernando, Charith Asalanka and Keshan Wijerathne took one wicket a piece.
In the chase of 233 runs, Sri Lanka lost the first wicket when the score was 16 as the opening batsman Sandun Weerakkody was caught for just 9 runs. However, opening batsman Hashan Dumindu and number three batsman Charith Asalanka built a brilliant partnership of 91 runs for the second wicket as Hashan Dumindu got out for 37 runs off 65 balls in the 23rd over. Charith Asalanka scored 50 runs off 67 balls but was dismissed at a crucial stage.
After being 107 for 1, Sri Lanka lost two wickets in a quick succession to be 112 for 3 after 25 overs. Sri Lanka continued to lose wickets as the middle order batsmen failed to contribute once more in the series. Captain Rumesh Buddika managed to get 21 runs but couldn’t stay at the crease for a long time. With this point, Sri Lanka was 165 for 7 after 38 overs.
However, Sanjaya Chathuranga and Kasun Madushanka built a 48 run match winning partnership for the eighth wicket. Kasun Madushanka was bowled by Neville Madziva for 29 runs, but Chathuranga batted till the end to register the first win of the one day series. He scored 24 runs off 43 balls and Keshan Wijerathne gave good support at the other end with 16 runs off just 10 balls. Sri Lanka achieved the target in the final over of the match with two wickets in hand.
For Zimbabwe, Charles Kunje, Tarisai Musakanda and Neville Madziva took two wickets each. Even though Zimbabwe Emerging XI lost this match, they won the three-match one day series 2-1.
Zimbabwe Emerging XI – 232 all out in 49.4 overs: Tarisai Musakanda 51, Kevin Kasuza 41, Steve Chimhamhiwa 30, Lasith Embuldeniya 31/3, Kasun Madushanka 47/3, Charith Asalanka 32/1
Sri Lanka Emerging XI – 235/8 in 49.3 overs: Charith Asalanka 50, Hashan Dumindu 37, Kasun Madushanka 29, Charles Kunje 29/2, Tarisai Musakanda 25/2, Neville Madziva 31/2