Rain washes out Zimbabwe’s ODI series opener against Sri Lanka

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Colombo – Rain washed out Sri Lanka’s opening ODI game against Zimbabwe at Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium on Saturday.

Coming back to international scene after a disastrous ICC World Cup 2023 campaign, the new-look Sri Lankan team struggled to make an impression before umpires cancelled out the game due to rain.

Charith Asalnaka’s brilliant hundred was the only positive for Sri Lanka who managed to score 273 for nine in 50 overs while batting first. Zimbabwe lost opener Tinashe Kamunhukamwe and captain Craig Ervine with just five runs on the scoreboard but rain rescued the visitors in Colombo.

New captain Kusal Mendis won the toss and elected to bat with batting all-rounder Janith Liyanage making his debut. But Zimbabwe started well with the first-over wicket of Avishka Fernando, who started ahead of injured Pathum Nissanka.

However, Kusal and Sadeera Samarawickrama added 63 runs for the second wicket to keep Sri Lanka ahead in the game. But the settled duo were dismissed after scoring 40-plus each as Sri Lanka failed to find stability in the middle overs.

Asalanka kept the scoreboard moving from one end as he hit his third ODI hundred but lacked support from his teammate. Debutant Liyanage scored 24 runs off 34 balls while the likes of Dasun Shankana and returning Sahan Arachchige struggled to make an impact.

Asalanka top-scored with 101 runs off 95 balls while Medis was the second-highest run-getter with 46 runs.

Dilshan Madushanka, who picked 21 wickets in just nine innings in the recent World Cup, gave Sri Lanka an instant success with two wickets in the third over but rain had other plans for the day.

Zimbabwe Playing XI: Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Takudzwanashe Kaitano, Craig Ervine (c), Milton Shumba, Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Clive Madande(w), Faraz Akram, Richard Ngarava, Blessing Muzarabani, Tapiwa Mufudza

Sri Lanka Playing XI: Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis (c & wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Janith Liyanage, Sahan Arachchige, Dasun Shanaka, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Dilshan Madushanka

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