Right then. The tri-nation series has opened up again thanks to Sri Lanka for clawing their way back with a win. We have two games left before the final and both these sides have to face Bangladesh. Not only do they have to come out on top but have to do so with a good net run rate. It's going to be a cracker now. The next match will take place between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh on 23rd January, 2018. Join us at 1200 Local (0600 GMT) to catch all the action. Until next time, goodbye and cheers!
Man of the Match, Thisara Perera says that he is proud of his performance. Credits their bowlers for keeping Zimbabwe to a moderate total which made it easier for them to chase it down. Praises Pradeep and Lakmal for doing well. Adds that even though Pradeep had an injury, he gave his best. Ends by saying that he is a hard-hitting batsman and enjoys his game.
Sri Lanka skipper, Dinesh Chandimal is really elated with the win. States it was a tough wicket to bat on. Credits his bowlers for doing a superb job. Further adds Perera and Mendis set the tone for them. Informs he just tried to bat as long as possible and not put much pressure on the lower middle order. Is happy to be on the right side of the result today. Continues saying the pressure is always there on every team. Admits Zimbabwe have done well against them in the past and they need to play to their potential. Hopes that they can continue in the same vein from hereon.
Zimbabwe skipper, Graeme Cremer starts by talking about the wicket. Says it looked exactly the same as the last one but played a lot differently today. Accepts that run-scoring wasn't an easy task and they were easily 30-odd runs short. States they need one of their top 4 batsmen to step up. Credits Taylor for putting his hand up today. Lauds Chandimal for the way he played and took the game away from them. Is confident to come out all guns blazing in their next match which he calls a crucial one.
From 103-1, all of a sudden Sri Lanka were reduced to 117-4. They soon lost half their side and it seemed like we have a nail-biter on the cards. However, Dinesh Chandimal didn't lose his calm and kept on milking the singles. He took the game deep and got perfect company from Thisara Perera who played an enterprising cameo of 39 runs in just 26 balls which included 3 maximums and a boundary. His unbeaten stand of 57 runs along with his skipper sealed the deal with 31 balls to spare...
So, Sri Lanka have kept their hopes alive in the tri-nation series. They didn't get it served on plate but had to fight it out to come out on top. They displayed a good show with the ball to restrict Zimbabwe under 200. When they came out to bat, their openers looked scratchy and took their time to settle down before Tharanga chopped one back onto the stumps. Two Kusals - Perera and Mendis then came to the fore and motored along well. Together they stringed a fruitful 70-run stand but the wicket of the southpaw (49) pressed the panic button.
Tendai Chatara to Thisara Perera
SIX! And Thisara Perera finishes things off in style! He is really pumped up. Chandimal at the other end has his hands aloft too. They needed this win, didn't they? Shortish delivery, coming at a good height. Perera backs away a touch and smokes it a long way over the deep mid-wicket fence for a maximum to end the game. SRI LANKA BEAT ZIMBABWE BY 5 WICKETS!
Shortish and angling in, Thisara backs away and mistimes his punch to mid on. Chandimal wants the run but won't get it.
Tendai Chatara to Dinesh Chandimal
This time he gets another one in the zone as he cracks it square of the wicket on the off side for a single.
Short and a tinge of width given, slapped hard but finds the man at backward point.
Good length delivery on off, DC stabs it out towards cover.
Graeme Cremer to Thisara Perera
Sloppy from Chatara! Cremer drops it short again, Perera camps back and punches it towards extra cover where Tendai fumbles and concedes two. The 50-run stand is up as well.
Graeme Cremer to Dinesh Chandimal
Pushes it quicker through the air outside off, Chandimal packs a punch through cover for one.
Goes for the glory hit and survives! Cremer gives it some nice flight and lands it outside off, Perera gets down on one knee to play the slog sweep but gets a top edge instead. The ball goes a long way up in the air but luckily for Perera, it lands in no man's land near long on. A single taken and he has a wry smile on his face.
Loopy leg break outside off, Dinesh punches it down to long off for a single.
The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground.
Tossed up ball outside, eased down to long off for a single.
Another short ball this time outside off, Perera packs a punch towards sweeper cover for a single.
SIX! Picked the bones outta that one! Chatara bowls it short and it's the slower one. Perera waits for it on the back foot and when it arrives he smites it a long way over the deep mid-wicket fence for another maximum. Sri Lanka inching closer to their first victory of the series.
Good length delivery outside off, driven towards mid off. Chandimal wants the single but Thisara rightly sends him back.