Untroubled Sri Lanka cruise to opening victory
t20 World Cup hosts Sri Lanka navigated a potential troublesome opponent with ease after they cruised to a 82 run victory over Zimbabwe in the opening match of the tournament at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota.
Ajantha Mendis (6-8) lead the way with an incredible spell of record breaking bowling which saw him pick up six wickets, a t20 World Cup record, to leave Zimbabwe is disarray as they tried to chase down Sri Lanka’s total of 182-4.
Jeevan Mendis (3-24) also picked up three wickets as Sri Lanka restricted Zimbabwe to a total of 100 after Kumar Sangakkara and Jeevan Mendis ensured Sri Lanka suffered no first day nerves with the top help the hosts record a total of 182-4.
The pair shared a 4th wicket stand of 94 after the loss of Mahela Jayawardene who was run out in the 12th over to leave the home side 82-3 before Sri Lanka took control of the match to leave Zimbabwe with a tough run chase.
Sangakkara led the way with a 26 ball 43 which was four balls quicker then Mendis who aslo scored 43 runs before Thisara Perera (6) enjoyed a two ball cameo which included a six of the penultimate ball of the innings.
Having been put into bat by Zimbabwe skipper Brendan Taylor, the hosts got off to a good start thanks to an opening stand of 54 between Dilshan Munaweera (17) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (39).