World Cup warm-ups: Zimbabwe pull off an unlikely 7-wicket win over Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 279 for 8 in 50 overs (D Karunaratne 58, Jeevan Mendis 51, S Williams 3-35) lost to Zimbabwe 281 for 3 (H Masakadza 117*, B Taylor 63, N Kulasekara 1-23)
Zimbabwe pulled off a major upset prior to the start of the 2015 Cricket World Cup when they defeated Sri Lanka by 7 wickets in a warm-up game at Lincoln, New Zealand, earlier today. Electing to bat first, Sri Lanka found themselves in early trouble, losing Kumar Sangakkara in the third over for 8. Lahiru Thirimanne and Mahela Jayawardene, then, began the rebuilding work for their side, putting on 62 runs for the second wicket before the former was dismissed for 30.
They soon lost the experienced Jayawardene too, caught by Craig Ervine off the bowling of Tawanda Mupariwa to leave them delicately placed at 85 for 3 in the 16th over. Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne, however, began the rescue act for their side, putting on 64 runs for the fourth wicket before Chandimal was dismissed for 29.
Karunaratne reached his fifty but couldn't go on to make a big score. It was only a run-a-ball 51 by Jeevan Mendis that paved the way for the Sri Lankans to post a competitive total of 279 for 8 in their 50 overs
In reply, Zimbabwe were reduced to 35 for 2 in the seventh over after Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Kulasekara removed both openers cheaply. But Hamilton Masakadza, first in partnership with Brendan Taylor and then Sean Williams, brought his side back into the contest.
He put on 137 runs for the third wicket with Taylor, who scored an 84-ball 63, and then, en route to his century, shared an unbeaten stand of 119 runs for the fourth wicket to guide his side to a morale-boosting six-wicket win over the 2011 World Cup runners-up.