Friday, March 11, 2011

World Cup 2011 : Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe

Sri Lanka took on Zimbabwe at Pallekele, with a clear intent of cementing the quarterfinal slot. Zimbabwe won the toss & elected to field, a decision, they would have rued later. Both Tharanga & Dilshan came into bat with clear intentions of hitting out. The platform was there for takings, as these two launched into a weak Zimbabwean attack. 77 runs came in the first 10 overs, & at the first drinks break, the score read 106 for no loss in the 17th over, as Dilshan was going berserk. His 50 came in 43 balls. Tharanga soon completed his fifty, as the Lankans raced to 150 in the 25th over. Dilshan posted his century in 95 balls, as 200 of the innings came up. At the 2nd drinks break, the Zimbabwean attack was still looking for the 1st wicket, & the score was 217 for no loss in 36 overs. Tharanga soon completed his century as well, & the opening partnership carnage continued against the hapless bowling attack till the 45th over, when Tharanga got out to a tired lofted shot in the deep. The opening partnership had amassed 282 runs, falling short of the highest ever opening of 286 runs. Dilshan probably lost his rhythm & interest in the innings after that & he too holed out in the deep in the very next over. By the he had mauled the bowling for a fabulous 144 off just 131 balls. Wickets started to fall regularly now, as the innings approached end & finally the score ended at 327 for 6. A mammoth total for Zimbabwe to chase. For Zimbabwe, Mpofu was the most expensive bowler, though impressive as well, as he took 4 wickets for 62 runs, in 7 overs.

The reply was strong & purposeful, as Brendon Taylor & Chakabva stitched a brilliant partnership for the opening wicket. When the 1st wicket fell at 116, as Murali bowled Chakabva, the pressure of the target got to the batting, & wickets started to crumble against a probing Lankan attack. Taylor left for a brilliant 80 off just 72 balls, with the total at 132 for 3 in the 25th over, & with him went away the zeal to put up a fight. The team was all out for 188 in the 39th over, as Dilshan chanced his arm with the ball as well. He claimed 4 wickets for a mere 4 runs in 3 overs, to severe the batting card. Murali chipped in with 3 wickets & Angelo Mathew picked up 2. It was all over, with the Lankans victorious by 139 runs. A berth in the quarterfinals assured now.

Man of the Match : Without a doubt, Tilakratna Dilshan for his 144 runs with the bat & 4 wickets with the ball. He is now finding form, which is going to be extremely important for the Lankan cause.