One Day Triangular, 2nd match played at Harare Sports Club: Zimbabwe A 164 for 5 (Mawoyo 66) beat Sri Lanka A 160 (Rajapaksa 57, Vitori 5-37) by five wickets
An inspired spell of swing bowling from left arm seam bowler Brian Vitori set up Zimbabwe A's comfortable five wicket win over a lack luster looing Sri Lanka A at Harare sports club on Saturday. Vitori's spell of 5-37 from his quota of 10 overs brought back memories of his heroic debut performance against Bangladesh at the same venue last August.
Zimbabwe A won the toss and had no hesitation in electing to bowl on a pitch that provided plenty of assistance for their seamers. Sri Lanka A were in trouble from the onset when Vitori removed both opening batsmen with the total on 39. And, when he trapped Chamara Kapugedera leg before wicket without scoring, Sri Lanka A were in total disarray at 39 for the loss of three wickets.
While Vitori was taking wickets, Pramodh Rajapaksha desperately tried to hold the innings together. But wickets fell with regularity as Vitori single handedly reduced Sri Lanka A to 95 for the loss of five wickets. Rajapaksha was the glue of the innings as he top scored with a well manufactured 57 before losing concentration and his wicket. After that, the tail offered little resistance as Sri Lanka A were dismissed for 160 in 45 overs.
Besides Vitori's spell of 5-37, all the seamers were exemplary with their line and length though the ground fielding would have been a bit of a concern for the bobbing staff. Regis Chakabva in particular had a day he would sooner forget as he let through a number of extras as well as dropping the ball on more than one occasion.
Zimbabwe A then got off to a shaky start with both Chamu Chibhabha and Sikandar Raza Butt falling cheaply to leave the hosts in a spot of bother at 41 for two. But captain Tinotenda Mawoyo and Stuart Matsikenyeri then restored the situation with their third wicket stand of 94 before Mawoyowas undone by a slower ball and comfortably taken at point for a watchful 66 off 104 balls with seven fours.
Matsikenyeri then followed soon after for 44 and when Shingi Masakadza spoonde a gentle full toss down the throat of mid off, Sri Lanka A denied Zimbabwe A from obtaining a bonus point. Malcolm Waller then scored the winning runs as Zimbabwe A got home in 40-3 overs. Sri Lanka A will now have to dig deep and play considerably better cricket, should they still have any hopes of playing in next Saturdays final.