Wanindu Hasaranga demolishes Zimbabwe as Sri Lanka clinch ODI series win


Zimbabwe batsmen failed to handle wrist-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga as he got career best figures of 7-19 that led to Sri Lanka winning the ODI series against Zimbabwe 2-0. In his first international match in seven months, Hasaranga wreaked havoc in a classic leg spin display that saw the Chevrons batsmen floundering.  

Wanindu Hasaranga [Getty Images] 

During an innings that was twice shortened by rain, Zimbabwe could only manage a paltry 96 runs in 22.5 overs, with a target of 97 set for Sri Lanka. Kusal Mendis led the chase with an unbeaten 66 off 51 balls, guiding Sri Lanka to victory with more than 10 overs to spare and sealing the series 2-0.

Zimbabwe, having won the toss and opting to bat first, were off to a solid start before the first rain interruption, reaching 40 runs in 7.4 overs without any loss of wickets. 

However, after play resumed, Wanindu Hasaranga spectacularly turned the tide. He claimed three quick wickets, including two lbws, causing Zimbabwe to slide to 48 for 3 by the time the rain fell again at 11.5 overs.

The subsequent reduction in overs did not halt Zimbabwe's decline, nor did it slow down Hasaranga's momentum. 

He continued to destroy Zimbabwe's batting line-up after the lengthy break, picking up wickets at devastatingly regular intervals. 

Janith Liyanage and Maheesh Theekshana also chipped in with crucial breakthroughs. Hasaranga's exceptional bowling display saw him claim a total of seven wickets for just 19 runs, setting up Sri Lanka's comfortable victory.

The chase began shakily, with Richard Ngarava dismissing Avishka Fernando by getting him to feather one behind - the third time Fernando has been out in this fashion this series. 

But once Mendis was at the crease, Sri Lanka began to accelerate towards the small target. He was particularly strong square of the wicket, hitting Ngarava for a four and a six in the cover region in the third over, before lofting him for another four, eventually garnering 16 runs off that over.

Mendis continued to execute cover drives, cuts, and pulls with aggression, and by the time the eighth over concluded, he had raced to 39 off 26 balls, soon progressing to a 37-ball fifty. 

Debutant Shevon Daniel was caught chipping the left-arm spin of Masakadza to deep midwicket for 12, but by this time, Sri Lanka were only 22 runs away from victory. Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama calmly guided Sri Lanka to the finish line.

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