Masakadza leads Zimbabwe to Sri Lanka victory

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Zimbabwe 281 for 3 (Masakadza 117*, Taylor 63, Williams 51*) beat Sri Lanka 279 for 8 (Karunaratne 58, Mendis 51, Williams 3-35)
RIDING on Hamilton Masakadza’s century and half-centuries by Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams, Zimbabwe defeated ICC World T20 2014 champions Sri Lanka by seven wickets in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 warm-up match at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in New Zealand on Wednesday.
Needing 280 to win, Zimbabwe lost Chamu Chibhabha and Sikandar Raza very early in the match. However, Masakadza and Taylor’s partnership made sure Zimbabwe were well settled.
After completing his half-century, Taylor was removed by Tillakaratne Dilshan, who did not come out to bat during the Sri Lankan innings.
It will be a major blow for Sri Lanka, who have had disappointing New Zealand tour prior to the start of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 preparations.
Masakadza scored 117 from 119 balls, which included eight fours and three sixes. Test captain Taylor scored 63 from 68 balls, hitting six fours. Williams also put up an all-round show.
After picking up three wickets in the Sri Lankan innings, Williams scored 51, hitting seven fours.
Sri Lanka on the other hand used nine bowlers. Lasith Malinga went wicketless as the African team was able to chase the target within 45.2 overs.
Earlier, Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews won the toss and elected to bat. The South Asian team were off to a shaky start, as they lost Kumar Sangakkara in the third over.
Lahiru Thirimanne and Mahela Jayawardene built a 62-run partnership, but both the batsmen departed after scoring 30 each.
Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne also shared a 64-run partnership. Karunaratne top scored for Sri Lanka with 58 and Jeevan Mendis later scored 51.
For Zimbabwe, Sean Williams picked up three wickets. Zimbabwe used nine bowlers too. However, Williams was the only bowler to complete the 10 overs quota.
The win will surely boost Zimbabwe, who have been slotted with India, Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and West Indies.
Brief scores:
Sri Lanka 279 for 8 in 50 overs (Dimuth Karunaratne 58, Jeevan Mendis 51; Sean Williams 3 for 35) lost toAdvertisement

Zimbabwe 281 for 3 in 45.2 overs (Hamilton Masakadza 117*, Brendan Taylor 63, Sean Williams 51*; Nuwan Kulasekara 1 for 23) by 7 wickets.