SL vs Zim : Srilanka won their first T20 match vs Zimbabwe
Tuesday , September 18 2012 , 06:57 PM
Hambantota: Ajantha Mendis bettered his own T20 record by taking six wickets for just eight runs as Sri Lanka walloped minnows Zimbabwe by 82 runs in the opening match of the World Twenty20 cricket tournament, here on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka 182 for 4 (Sangakkara 44, Mendis 43*) beat Zimbabwe 100 (Masakadza 20, Ajantha 6-8, Jeevan 3-24) by 82 runs
Srilanka vs Zimbabwe 1st T20 Match World CUp
Aided by some sluggish fielding and wayward bowling, and a 94-run partnership between Kumar Sangakkara (44) and Jeevan Mendis (43 not out), Sri Lanka made 182 for the loss of four wickets in the opening game of the ICC world T20 at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International stadium here.
Zimbabwe’s bowling and fielding was a nightmare. Two fielders converging and letting the ball go through to boundaries, lavish over throws, dropped catches, and converting one into twos for the batting team were among the gifts from Zimbabwe that Sri Lanka gratefully accepted. Debutant opening batsman Dilshan Munaweera (17), picked ahead of Dinesh Chandimal, began the fourth edition of the world cup T20 with a four. A Jarvis full toss that was moving away was put away through point.
Munaweera lived up to the first part of his name — Dilshan, which in international cricket has often translated to living dangerously — and lived a chanced life: an ugly slog that ballooned and travelled towards deep mid on where Malcolm Waller tried to get to the ball, a run out chance missed one over later, a dolly of a catch put down by Malcolm Waller at deep mid wicket…Finally, Munaweera ran out of luck when he tried to regain his crease after being sent back by Dilshan (39). Munaweera set off for a non-existent single, and lost his bat while turning back to regain his crease.
More drama unfolded after the new batsman and Captain Mahela Jayawardene (13) failed to pick a straight Cremer delivery. Mahela was hit bang in front of the stumps and the umpire had no hesitation to lift his finger. But a television check, which is done as a matter of default these days, showed that Cremer had cut the side crease with his back foot. Mahela survived.
Two balls later, Dilshan edged Cremer to wicket keeper Taylor who made no mistake.
Mahela did not last long. He appeared to have been done in by the shorter boundaries. Sangakkara and Mahela have played long enough to sense an opportunity for a run. When Mahela took on a Waller throw and found himself short of the crease, it could just be because of a lapse of concentration which led him to forget the new dimensions of the boundary ropes.
In Hambantota, the home town of President Mahinda Rajapakse, Sri Lanka should encounter few problems against minnows Zimbabwe as they raise the curtain on Twenty20 cricket's three-week, 12-nation, world championship.Sri Lanka have yet to emulate their 50-over World Cup victory in 1996, despite reaching the final in 2007 and again last year. They were World Twenty20 runners-up in 2009 and went out in the semi-finals in 2010.
Everyone is aware that the mere presence of Lasith Malinga in the Lankan team will send shivers down the opposition batsmen and to add to it, the quickie happens to be Sri Lanka's best bowler in T20 World Cups, which shows that he thrives on the big stage. Apart from his toe-crushing yorkers and lethal pace, the bowler also possesses a variety of deliveries that will always keep the batsmen guessing. Like it has been for Sri Lanka since the decline of Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga remains their spear-head and is key to Sri Lanka's prospects in the World T20 2012.
Stats and Milestones
Jayawardene and Sangakkara hold the record for the second best partnership in T20Is. Their stand of 166 against West Indies in 2010 is only bettered by the pair of Graeme Smith and Loots Bosman, who had added 170 runs against England in 2009.
Dilshan (112) and Jayawardene (110) are placed fourth and fifth respectively on the list players with 100+ boundaries in Twenty20 Internationals. McCullum (139), Graeme Smith (123) and Pietersen (119) have scored more fours than the Sri Lankan pair.
19, 83 and 90: The numbers of runs Jayawardene, Dilshan and Sangakkara require respectively to reach the mark of 1000 runs in Twenty20 Internationals. At present, only Brendon McCullum and Kevin Pietersen have crossed the 1000 run mark in the 20-over format.
Ajantha Mendis has the best figures by a bowler in T20Is. His 6/16 against Australia in 2011 is the first and only instance of a bowler picking up a six-wicket haul in Twenty20 Internationals.
Catch all the live cricket scores at cricandcric.com