Solomon leaves Sri Lanka in the Mire as Zimbabwe make history


Solomon Mire's maiden one-day international century set Zimbabwe on their way to a record-breaking six-wicket win as the tourists took a 1-0 lead over Sri Lanka on Friday.

Set 317 in the first of the five-match series in Galle, Zimbabwe became the first side to successfully chase down a target in excess of 300 in Sri Lanka, beating their opponents for the first time across any format in the process.

It was also Zimbabwe's highest chase away from home, second on the overall list behind their 329 against New Zealand in Bulawayo six years ago.

It looked a tall order for the tourists as Sri Lanka posted 316-5 having won the toss in their first match under the interim leadership of Nic Pothas following the resignation of Graham Ford last week.

That sizeable score was underpinned by half centuries from Danushka Gunathilaka (60), Upul Tharanga (79 not out) and Kusal Mendis - the latter passing 1,000 ODI runs en route to his 86 from 80 balls.

Mire was dropped on 17 by wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella as he attempted a sweep, and he made the hosts pay by going on to enjoy a third-wicket stand of 161 with Sean Williams, who also punished the fielding side after Gunathilaka put him down at point when the batsman was on just 13.

It looked as though there might be a late twist when Mire (112 off 96) and Williams (65 off 69) fell in successive Asela Gunaratne overs, leaving Zimbabwe needing 97 off 94 balls.

There was little cause for concern, however, as Sikandar Raza struck an unbeaten 67 off 56 and Malcolm Waller (40no off 29) helped complete the chase, the former launching a six over long-on to seal a ground-breaking victory in grand fashion with 14 balls remaining.