Sri Lanka kept themselves alive in the tri-nation ODI series after defeating Zimbabwe by five wickets Sunday at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka. Win by the island nation has added excitement to the tournament as both Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe now need to win their respective games against host Bangladesh in order to confirm a berth in the grand finale. Zimbabwe among three matches have one win, against Sri Lanka in their first encounter. And Sri Lanka bagged their sole win Sunday in three attempts.
This has given some light to the series which hardly had any hype, except when Bangladesh played. With the turn of events, spectators will now have to wait till the last game of the league phase, between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka Thursday, to see the second finalist of the competition.
Dinesh Chandimal, standing as Sri Lanka captain in place of the injured Angelo Mathews, said the dressing room is relieved at being able to make a comeback in the series after starting with two back-to-back defeats. The wicketkeeper-batsman believes Sri Lanka’s batting will be key when they take on Bangladesh in their do-or-die affair.
"It was tough, especially after the first two games. It is tough for any team. We got only four games. When you win first two games you have a good chance in the tournament. But we discussed so many things. We had something up our sleeve and we got the result we wanted," said Chandimal following the game Sunday.
"We have three more days before the Bangladesh game. As a batting unit, we need to click. Once we get a start, we need to score big. That's the main concern. We need to discuss among ourselves and we will come up with good plans," the Sri Lanka captain added.
Meanwhile Zimbabwe faced their first defeat in ODIs against Sri Lanka since last July and now find themselves in the situation of being ruled out of the multi-nation series.
Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer said his side were about 30 runs short when they went to bat first and blamed the loss of quick wickets in the middle order.
"I thought obviously we were 30 runs short with the bat. The wicket played a lot different to the last game. I thought we adjusted well when Brendan [Taylor] was in. We thought it was 230, that was par, instead of 270. We just lost too many wickets in the middle overs. It didn't help when [Sikandar] Raza got out. I thought it was a crucial point in the game. If we got 230, we would have a really good chance of winning," said the Zimbabwe captain.
“It makes things interesting now. One of us has to beat Bangladesh to get into the final. It is quite nice for the viewers. I just hope it is us, come final day," opined Cremer.