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Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe: Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka set ODI record

Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka opened the batting for Sri Lanka in the fourth ODI vs Zimbabwe

cricket Updated: Jul 08, 2017 14:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Niroshan Dickwella,Danushka Gunathilaka,Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe
Niroshan Dikwella (L) and teammate Danushka Gunathilaka run between the wickets during the fourth one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in Hambantota on Saturday. (AFP)

Sri Lankan batsman Niroshan Dickwell slammed a century and his hot opening stand with Danushka Gunathilaka set a new ODI record in Hambantota on Saturday. The Lankans were batting first after winning the toss against Zimbabwe in the fourth ODI.

Niroshan Dickwell and Danushka Gunathilaka were in solid form as they milked the Zimbabwean attack on a batting pitch. Gunathilaka was the first to go, bowled by Malcolm Waller for 87.

But by then, Dickwella and Gunathilaka had set a new record in ODIs. Their 209-run opening wicket stand was the first time a pair had scored over 200 runs in consecutive ODIs. Sri Lanka scored 300 for six in their 50 overs.

Niroshan Dickwella went on to complete his century. The 24-year-old left-hander smashed tons in back-to-back ODIs. Waller’s spin trapped him LBW for 116 (118 balls, eight fours).

Dickwella and Gunathilaka fell in a space of seven runs, but they had laid a solid foundation for remainder of the top order to set up a massive score. Angelo Mathews scored 42 off 40 balls.

The left-handed batting duo had put on a 229-run match-winning stand in the previous ODI on Thursday at the same venue.

While Dickwella hit his second successive century with a commanding 116, Gunathilaka missed out on what could have been his second ODI ton after being bowled for 87.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Dickwella, who scored 102 on Thursday at the same venue, played a patient 118-ball knock laced with eight boundaries before being trapped lbw.

Zimbabwe off-spinner Malcolm Waller got the two prized wickets in successive overs to pull things back for the visitors. Paceman Chris Mpofu also got two wickets to rattle the Sri Lankan middle-order as the hosts slipped from 216-1 to 263-5.

Sri Lanka lead the five-match series 2-1 and made one change from the last match. The Lankans handed a first one-day cap to pace bowler Asitha Fernando in place of Nuwan Pradeep. Zimbabwe also made a change bringing in seamer Chris Mpofu in place off Carl Mumba.

First Published: Jul 08, 2017 13:08 IST