From 4-27 to 173/6: Mathews and Asalanka’s heroics resurrect Sri Lanka

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R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, Jan 16, 9.10PM – Sri Lanka bounced back from a shaky start to post a solid total of 173/6 in their second Twenty20 match against Zimbabwe at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. After losing four wickets for just 27 runs in the first five overs, Angelo Mathews and Charith Asalanka played crucial half centuries to steer their team to a commendable score.

Zimbabwe’s three-pronged pace attack, consisting of Richard Ngarava, Blessing Mubarabani, and Luke Jongwe, had a strong start after winning the toss and opting to bowl on a good pitch. Sri Lanka’s top order struggled, with Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Sadeera Samarawickrama, and Kusal Mendis all departing early, leaving the team in a precarious position at 4-27 in 4.4 overs.

However, Angelo Mathews and Charith Asalanka turned the game around with a partnership of 118 runs off 79 balls, showcasing mature and impactful batting in the middle order. Mathews played his usual steady innings, gradually picking up the pace, while Asalanka displayed explosive batting right from the start.

Asalanka’s innings of 69 runs off 39 balls included three sixes and five fours before he was caught at sweeper cover in the 18th over. Mathews remained unbeaten with a well-crafted 66 runs off 51 balls, hitting two sixes and six boundaries. Dasun Shanaka also contributed with a quick 9 runs off 4 balls to maintain the momentum.

The partnership between Mathews and Asalanka and the late contributions from Shanaka helped Sri Lanka recover from the early setbacks and post a commendable total of 173/6, setting a challenging target for Zimbabwe in the second Twenty20 match.

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