Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe 2nd ODI: Sandakan’s four-for helps Sri Lanka level series

Sandakan finished with figures of 4-52 off his 10 overs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

After being stunned in the first ODI, Sri Lanka bounced back with a clinical performance as they crushed Zimbabwe by seven wickets in Galle behind left-arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan’s four-wicket haul.

Opting to bowl first, Sri Lanka struck in the fourth over as Zimbabwe opener Solomon Mire was caught behind off the bowling of Nuwan Pradeep for a duck.

Hamilton Masakadza and Craig Ervine made up for the loss of Mire with a 56-run partnership before Masakadza was caught and bowled by Asela Gunaratne for 41.

Once Masakadza was gone, Zimbabwe’s middle order began to crumble due to some superb bowling from Sandakan.

Malcolm Waller tried to revive Zimbabwe’s innings with a quickfire 38, but it was to no avail as the tourists ended up being skittled out for 155 after debutant Wanidu Hasaranga took a spectacular hat-trick.

Hasaranga became just the third bowler after Taijul Islam and Kagiso Rabada to claim a hat-trick on debut in an ODI.

Sandakan was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Hasaranga snapped up three, and Pradeep, Gunaratne and Danushka Gunathilaka chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 156 to win, Sri Lanka got off to a horrendous start as Tendai Chatara dismissed Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis in successive deliveries.

Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga steadied the ship with a 67-run partnership before Dickwella was caught and bowled by Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer for 35.

Tharanga and skipper Angelo Mathews finished things off with an unbeaten 81-run stand, during which Thranga surpassed his fifty.

Tharanga scored his 34th ODI fifty

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Tharanga ended up scoring 75 off 86 balls, which included eight boundaries, while Mathews remained undefeated on 28 off 35 deliveries, which included four boundaries.

Chatara, who left the field with a knee injury, was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Cremer claimed one.

Cremer was less than impressed with his side’s performance, and said: “We thought the wicket was a little bit different. Maybe 230 would have been a good score. It was just one of those days. Sri Lanka bowled well, credit to them, and maybe we look at the options. Like I said, 150 was not good enough on that wicket.”

Mathews was glad to have levelled the series, and said: “I wouldn’t call it a clinical performance. We still dropped catches. The attitude and intensity was superb. We just need to regroup, and it was great effort from the boys. Sandakan was brilliant, so was Wanidu. Credit should go to the selectors to pick him. I, honestly, haven’t seem him much.

“Chasing a modest total is not easy if you lose a couple of wickets early on. We can’t thank Upul enough. He has moved up and down the order to accommodate others. He has been an unlucky player. Can’t thank him enough.”

Sandakan was named Man of the Match, and said: “The captain gave me a lot of confidence and I bowled really well. We planned to bowl a bit slower and we executed it in the middle. And well bowled to Wanidu Hasaranga who had a dream debut.”

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