Sameera de Zoysa,
Sri Lanka's captain © ICC

Chasing 256, Sri Lanka’s batsmen carried them to an eight-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the Super League Play-Off Semi Final. Sri Lanka’s opponents in the final will be Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka’s positive batting attitude was quite a contrast to their attitude in the field which was demonstrated by slumped shoulders, mud-wading, mind-wandering and butter-fingers. Either it was all part of a cunning plan to save energy in the field, knowing that their batsmen could chase down any target or it was a sign of immaturity and insufficient understanding of the attitude that should be invested in any action when one wears the national lion on one’s chest.

Zimbabwe were far more positive by contrast. Riding their luck, all the batsmen contributed with Gary Balance and Keegan Meth sharing a 131 partnership off 160 balls (one chance each plus a run-out opportunity). Left-hander Balance provided the ballast as Meth hit all around him, reaching 50 off 40 deliveries (8 fours) and accelerating further to reach 93 before being lbw to paceman Tissara Perera. Ryan Higgins made a quickfire 30 off 19 deliveries to keep the innings impetus going and Zimabwe finished on 256.

Keegan Meth hits out

Zimbabwe have relied on their spinners throughout the tournament to restrict the opposition but on a ground the size of the SSC far bigger than the CCC where they beat England and Nepal in two close matches, it was always going to be more difficult to keep things tight.

Sri Lanka’s batsmen had no problems. First the openers, acting captain Sameera de Zoysa and Dimuth Karunaratne, put on a century partnership. De Zoysa had to retire on 63 because of cramp, with the score 147 for 1 in the 29th over. Many a single he had run and his innings after two consecutive ducks previously will have restored his confidence. He captains Sri Lanka in the absence of Angelo Mathews to injury.The remaining batsmen saw Sri Lanka home with ten balls to spare.

The Super-League Play-Off Final, which will determine who is to be ranked 5th and 6th in the world for the next two years is on the 18th. Both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will fancy their chances in what should be a tight game.

Super League Lower Place Play-Off Semi-Final 2: Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo
Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat
Zimbabwe: 256 for 8 off 50 overs (G. balance 53, K. Meth 91, R. Higgins 30)
Sri Lanka: 259 for 2 (D. Karunaratne 53, S. de Zoysa 63 retd. hurt, S. Fernando 52*, D. Cooray 53*)
Man of the Match: Keegan Meth (Zimbabwe)
View Scorecard >>

Filed February 17 2006