Wanindu Hasaranga’s career best 7/19 decimates Zimbabwe

Returning to One Day Internationals in seven months, following injury, Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga decimated the Zimbabwe batting line up in a rain-marred clash at the R Premadasa in Colombo on Thursday. 

Claiming his career-best figures of 7 for 19, Hasaranga led Sri Lanka to a comfortable win, with the star all-rounder earning him a coveted spot among the top performers in men’s One Day International (ODI) history.

In the 27-over match, Zimbabwe’s innings came to a swift end as they were dismissed for a meager 96 runs. The home team wasted no time in chasing down this target, achieving victory in just 16.4 overs and sealing a convincing 2-0 series win in the three-match series.

Opting to bat first, Zimbabwe got off to a decent start, courtesy of their opening pair, Joylord Gumbie and Takudzwanashe Kaitano. Together, they managed to accumulate 43 runs in the first 9 overs. However, their fortunes took a turn when Kaitano became Hasaranga’s first victim, skying a sweep shot to short fine leg. This wicket marked the beginning of a collapse for Zimbabwe’s batting lineup.

In the following over bowled by the leg-spinner, he claimed two more key wickets, dismissing Joylord Gumbie and Craig Ervine, both adjudged leg-before-wicket. His third over added to the woes of the Zimbabwean side as he trapped Milton Shumba in front of the stumps for his fourth victim. The onslaught continued as Janith Liyanage and Maheesh Theekshana joined in, securing their respective scalps. Within a mere span of 50 balls, Zimbabwe’s innings saw the fall of seven wickets, with only 24 runs added to the total.

Although Luke Jongwe and Wellington Masakadza briefly resisted the Sri Lankan onslaught, providing a temporary respite from the relentless collapse, Hasaranga continued to tear through the Zimbabwean batting order, eventually bowled out in just 22.5 overs.

In reply, Sri Lanka faced an early setback as opener Avishka Fernando departed for a four-ball duck in the very first over. However, the chase proved to be relatively comfortable for the lions. Debutant Shevon Daniel, initially struggled to find his rhythm but found support in the form of Kusal Mendis, who played aggressively from the opposite end. Mendis, the Sri Lankan captain, showcased his prowess by amassing 66 runs from just 51 balls, including nine boundaries and a six.

After a partnership of 73 runs for the second wicket alongside Daniel, Mendis received valuable support from Sadeera Samarawickrama, who contributed an unbeaten 17-ball 14. Together, they successfully reached the target, securing a comprehensive victory for Sri Lanka.