Openers set up super Sri Lanka chase


Sri Lanka made light work of a seemingly stiff target to thump Zimbabwe by eight wickets in Hambantota and move 2-1 up in their five-match one-day international series.

Hamilton Masakadza's 98-ball 111 underpinned a strong batting effort from the tourists on Friday, Zimbabwe reaching 310-8 from 50 overs after being inserted.

However, that score was comfortably overhauled as openers Danushka Gunathilaka (116) and Niroshan Dickwella (102) each compiled maiden ODI hundreds in reply.

The first-wicket pair put on 229 in 37 overs to set up an ultimately routine win, with Kusal Mendis (28 not out) and Upul Tharanga (44 not out) finishing things off.

A dog on the field briefly interrupted the early stages of Sri Lanka's chase and Sean Williams had reason to bark at his team-mates soon after as he had Dickwella dropped and saw Gunathilaka survive a stumping chance in the 18th over.

Both batsmen capitalised to reach three figures for the first time and Sri Lanka completed their first successful chase of over 300 on home soil with 2.4 overs unused.

Masakadza's chief support earlier in the day came from Tarisai Musakanda (48) and Williams (43), while every member of Zimbabwe's top eight made it to double figures.