World Cup 2023 Qualifiers Super Six, Match 4: Sri Lanka pound Zimbabwe by 9 wickets to confirm World Cup qualification

New Zealand v Sri Lanka - 3rd T20
Sri Lanka spinner Maheesh Theekshana (Pic: Getty Images)

Sri Lanka confirmed their qualification for the ODI World Cup in India by hammering Zimbabwe by nine wickets in match number four of the Super Six round of the World Cup 2023 Qualifiers at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Sunday, July 2.

In a thoroughly dominating performance, Sri Lanka bundled out Zimbabwe to 165 in 32.2 overs after winning the toss and bowling first. Maheesh Theekshana (4/25) and Dilshan Madushanka (3/15) starred with the ball for Sri Lanka. Pathum Nissanka then slammed an unbeaten ton in the chase as the Lankans romped home in 33.1 overs.

Madushanka knocked over Zimbabwe’s top three with only 30 runs on the board. Joylord Gumbie (0) perished in the first over, flicking one to short midwicket. Wessly Madhevere (1) was the next to go, top-edging a pull to mid-on. Zimbabwe then lost their skipper Craig Ervine for 14, who nicked a full delivery outside off.

The in-form Sean Williams (56 off 57) and Sikandar Raza (31 off 51) added 68 for the fourth wicket to lift Zimbabwe. Raza struck three fours and a six and was looking good for a lot more when he was caught, miscuing a pull off Dasun Shanaka’s bowling.

Zimbabwe’s hopes of posting a challenging total suffered a massive blow with Williams’ dismissal. Theekshana produced a beauty that beat the batter’s half-hearted drive and crashed into the stumps. The Sri Lankan spinner also cleaned up Ryan Burl (16) and trapped Luke Jongwe (10) lbw as Zimbabwe slipped further.

Matheesha Pathirana (2/18) helped himself to the wickets of Brad Evans (14) and Richard Ngarava (0) before Theekshana cleaned up Blessing Muzarabani (0) to bring the curtains down on Zimbabwe’s innings.

Nissanka slams hundred as Sri Lanka canter to victory

Sri Lanka cruised to victory in the chase as opener Nissanka scored an unbeaten 101 off 102 balls. Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne (30 off 56) added 103 for the first wicket in 19.5 overs. The impressive stand ended when Karunaratne mistimed a pull off Ngarava to deep fine leg.

Nissanka and Mendis then added an unbroken 66 for the second wicket as the 1996 World Cup champions cruised to victory and booked their place for the 2023 edition in India.

It was the perfect finish for Sri Lanka as Nissanka, who struck 14 fours, hit the winning boundary, smashing a full toss from Wellington Masakadza over midwicket. The stroke also brought up his well-deserved hundred.

Nepal beat UAE by 3 wickets in 7th Place Playoff semi-final 2

Nepal beat United Arab Emirates (UAE) by three wickets in the 7th Place Playoff semi-final 2 match at the Takashinga Sports Club in Harare.

Bowling first, Nepal bowled out UAE for 181 as Karan KC and Sandeep Lamichhane claimed three wickets each. Muhammad Jawadullah registered figures of 3/46 for UAE. However, Dipendra Singh Airee’s unbeaten 79 off 85 guided Nepal to victory.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert
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