Sensational Taylor guides Zimbabwe to an easy win over SL
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Sensational Taylor guides Zimbabwe to an easy win over SL

Continuing their giant-killing spree, hosts Zimbabwe rode on Brendan Taylor's second ODI ton to pull off a spectacular eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in an inconsequential match of the cricket tri-series in Harare.

cricket Updated: Jun 08, 2010 02:17 IST

Zimbabwe batsman Brendan Taylor blasted a rapid century at Harare Sports Club to steer his side to an impressive eight wicket win over Sri Lanka in their 50-over international on Monday.

This was the last of six Tri-series matches, which included India. The home team, the least fancied of the three going into the tournament, surprisingly now find themselves favourites to win the final against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

After a good start, Sri Lanka were bowled out for only 236 in 47.5 overs. It was not enough to deny Taylor who hit the winning runs with 2.1 overs to spare.

The 24-year-old opener scored an undefeated 119 from 125 balls, hitting nine fours and a six. He was well supported by Chamu Chibhabha with 58 and Tatenda Taibu who was with him at the end on 43 not out.

Taylor, who picked up his third man of the match award in the series, and Chibhaba shared a second wicket partnership of 134.

It was Taylor's second ODI career century to add to two previous half-centuries in four series matches in Harare. But it might have been so different if the Sri Lanka fielders had not missed two simple run-out chances.

"We laid a good foundation and kept it going at a decent pace," said Taylor. "I was always trying to relax and it worked well."

Zimbabwe won the toss and decided to field first. It didn't look such a good decision when Tillekeratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga put on 122 for the first wicket.

With 135-1 on the board from 25 overs, Sri Lanka were looking at a total of 300 plus. Dilshan hit a structured 78, his 19th ODI half-century, and Tharanga made 69.

But once they were parted the wickets tumbled. The other batsmen all failed to make a decent contribution and Zimbabwe knew that 236 was well within their reach.

Zimbabwe lost Hamilton Masakadza with only 14 runs on the board. Previously, this might have heralded a collapse but Taylor and Chibhabha dug in before going on to dominate the Sri Lanka attack.

The final on Wednesday will be the first tournament final for Zimbabwe since the Sharjah Cup in 2003. They lost that one to Pakistan - but Wednesday may well see them set that record straight.

First Published: Jun 07, 2010 12:35 IST