Sri Lanka secure emphatic win over Zimbabwe to book World Cup spot

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Zimbabwe allrounder Ryan Burl is clean bowled during the ICC World Cup Qualifier Super Six match against Sri Lanka at Queens Sports Club on Sunday

Bulawayo – Spinner Maheesh Theekshana’s brilliant bowling figures of 4/25, followed by Pathum Nissanka’s century inspired Sri Lanka to a crushing nine-wicket victory against Zimbabwe which secured them qualification for the ICC Men’s World Cup.

Put into bat first, Zimbabwe’s batting lineup faced a major challenge in the form of a spin-packed Sri Lankan bowling attack.

The host batters, however, failed against Sri Lankan bowlers and could only put up a paltry 165 runs on the board before being bundled out in the 33rd over.

In-form batter Sean Williams waged a lone battle against Sri Lanka and scored a gutsy half-century.

He scored 56 off 57 deliveries, laced up with six boundaries and a six and top scored for Zimbabwe.

Another in-form batter Sikandar Raza was the second top-scorer in Zimbabwe’s dismal batting display with a 51-ball 31.

The rest of the Zimbabwe batters seemed clueless against dominant Sri Lankan bowlers and made meagre contributions.

Maheesh Theekshana led the bowling attack for Sri Lanka with 4/25, followed by Dilshan Madushanka’s 3/15 and Maheesha Pathirana’s 2/18.

In response, Sri Lanka comfortably completed the pursuit for the loss of just one wicket and 101 balls to spare, thanks to a magnificent century by Pathum Nissanka.

He struck 14 boundaries on his way to a 102-ball 101 and carried his bat all the way through.

His fellow opener Dimuth Karunaratne (30) and Kusal Mendis (25) made valuable contributions in the run chase and powered Sri Lanka into the World Cup.

For Zimbabwe, only Richard Ngarava could pick up a wicket.

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