Hasaranga’s tactics questioned as Zimbabwe clinches victory with one ball to spare

Hasaranga 1

Colombo, Jan 17, 7.15AM – Zimbabwe pulled off a thrilling victory against Sri Lanka in their second Twenty20 match at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday night. Despite facing a challenging situation, all-rounder Luke Jongwe and wicketkeeper-batsman Clive Madande guided Zimbabwe to a memorable win with 178/6, securing the victory with just one ball to spare. The three-match series is now leveled.

The match witnessed an unexpected turn as gentle pacer Angelo Mathews bowled the last over. Typically, the main pacemen finish the last two overs in a Twenty20 match. However, Hasaranga’s captaincy decision saw Dilshan Madushanka completing his four-over spell with figures of 1-24, and Dushmantha Chameera finished with 2-25 before the final over.

Facing the challenge of a fast bowler delivering a slow ball, the batters found it difficult to read, especially when attempting big hits. On the other hand, slow-medium bowlers like Mathews, with their slower balls, made it easier for the batters to pick deliveries in the death overs. This strategic move allowed Zimbabwe to target the last over, always aiming to dispatch the ball and accumulate crucial runs.

The nail-biting encounter marked the third-highest successful run chase in the last over of Twenty20 history. The record-breaking chase showcased the resilience and skill of the Zimbabwean team, particularly Craig Ervine, who contributed significantly with a score of 70.

Chief scores for Zimbabwe: 178/6 in 19.5 overs (Craig Ervine 70, Luke Jonwe 25 n.o, Brian Bennet 25, Clive Madande 15 n.o, Ryan Burl 13, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe 12). The Sri Lankan bowlers faced tough opposition, with Maheesh Theekshana taking 2-25, Dushmantha Chameera securing 2-30, Dilshan Madushanka grabbing 1-24, and Wanindu Hasaranga claiming 1-41.

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