Zimbabwe win rain-hit 4th ODI despite record by Sri Lankan openers

Zimbabwe win rain-hit 4th ODI despite record by Sri Lankan openers

Batsman Craig Ervine hit a quickfire 69 to help Zimbabwe pull off a four-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the rain-shortened fourth one-day international and level the five-match series at 2-2 in Hambantota on Saturday.

Chasing a revised target of 219 in 31 overs, Zimbabwe rode on Ervine’s 55-ball unbeaten knock to win with 10 balls to spare at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium.

Earlier, a record double-century stand between openers Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka guided Sri Lanka to 300-6 in the fourth one-day international against Zimbabwe in Hambantota on Saturday.

Dickwella (116) and Gunathilaka (87) put together 209 runs after the hosts elected to bat first — becoming the first pair in ODI history to score back-to-back double century partnerships.

The left-handed batting duo had put on a 229-run match-winning stand in the previous ODI on Thursday at the same venue.

While Dickwella hit his second successive century with a commanding 116, Gunathilaka missed out on what could have been his second ODI ton after being bowled for 87.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Dickwella, who scored 102 on Thursday at the same venue, played a patient 118-ball knock laced with eight boundaries before being trapped lbw.

Zimbabwe off-spinner Malcolm Waller got the two prized wickets in successive overs to pull things back for the visitors.

Paceman Chris Mpofu also got two wickets to rattle the Sri Lankan middle-order as the hosts slipped from 216-1 to 263-5.

Skipper Angelo Mathews then lifted the total with his 40-ball 42, with help from Wanindu Hasaranga (19 not out) during their 37-run partnership for the seventh wicket.

-AFP

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