No. 11 batter Dushmantha Chameera scored the winning runs off the last ball of the match as Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe by three wickets in their Twenty20 opener on Sunday.
Angelo Mathews top-scored for Sri Lanka with 46 and shared 55 runs for the seventh wicket with Dasun Shanaka, who was at the other end on 26 not out when Chameera came out to face the last two balls.
The dramatic finish came after Sri Lanka captain Wanindu Hasaranga won the toss and chose to field at R. Premadasa Stadium.
Zimbabwe made 143-5 in 20 overs. In reply, Sri Lanka slumped to 83-6 as Zimbabwe captain Sikandar Raza’s brilliant three wickets threatened to take the game away from the hosts.
But Mathews and Shanaka reached the final over in which 14 runs were needed for victory. Sri Lanka then required six off two balls after Mathews was out, caught in the deep, and Chameera was up to the task with a boundary against pacer Blessing Muzarabani (2-33) and the winning two runs off the last ball.
Raza finished with 3-13 in four overs. He performed with the bat, too, scoring 62 off 42 deliveries including five boundaries and two sixes. It was his 13th T20 half-century.
Spinners Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindi Hasaanga took two wickets each for Sri Lanka.
The second T20 match will be played on Tuesday at the same venue.