PALLEKELE, March 10 (PTI): Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga starred in a record 282-run opening stand to set up Sri Lanka�s 139-run victory over Zimbabwe and help them qualify for the quarterfinals of the World Cup, here today.
Faced with the uphill task of chasing Sri Lanka�s 328, Zimbabwe were bundled out for 188 in 39 overs as Dilshan, following his blazing knock, shown with the ball too, picking up four wickets to cap off a memorable day in the field.
The 268-ball partnership between Dilshan and Tharanga is the second highest in the history of World Cup.
Dilshan blasted 16 fours and a six to score a 131-ball 144, while Tharanga plundered 17 fours en route to his 133, to guide the 1996 winners to a mammoth 327 for six in a group A encounter at the Pellekele stadium here.
In pursuit of a stiff target, Zimbabwe openers Brendan Taylor and Regis Chakabvaset set the stage for an exciting finish by putting on a century stand, but the chase fell after Taylor was snapped up by Angelo Mathews.
During an opening stand that yielded 116 runs, Taylor was the more aggressive of the two, racing to his fifty in quick time. He was helped by a wayward Lasith Malinga, pouncing on his loose deliveries to score quick runs, before Muttiah Muralitharan fooled Chakabvaset with a a doosra to break the partnership. The dismissal of Taylor in the 25th over, however, was the biggest blow to Zimbabwe�s hopes, and the Africans could never recover once he was gone.
Apart from Dilshan�s 4/4 � he could have taken a hattrick had Mahela Jayawardene latched onto Graeme Cremer�s edge in the 30th over � Muralitharan took three while Mathews finished with two wickets.
Ironically, it was the Lankan vice-captain�s spectacular diving catch on the left, which put Dilshan on a hattrick.
Zimbabwe lacked batsmen with the ability to dominate after Taylor�s departure, and the inevitable was delayed thanks to the islanders� inconsistency in the field.
Besides Jayawardene, Muralitharan spilled one off Malinga in the deep.
It was always going to be a difficult task for the minnows after being at the receiving end of Dilshan and Tharanga�s onslaught for almost the entire Lankan innings.
The Lankan duo�s stand is also the second highest first-wicket partnership in the history of international cricket, besides being the fourth-highest for any wicket in one-day internationals.
Tharanga c Chigumbura b Mpofu 133
Dilshan c Chigumbura b Utseya 144
Perera c Chigumbura b Price 3
Jayawardene c Chakabva b Mpofu 9
Sangakkara not out 11
Mathews c Chigumbura b Mpofu 0
Silva c Panyangara b Mpofu 4
Samaraweera not out 8
Extras: (B-2, LB-3, W-9, NB-1) 15
Total: (6 wickets in 50 overs) 327
Fall of wicket: 1-282, 2-289, 3-296, 4-300, 5-302, 6-308.
Bowling: Mpofu 7-0-62-4, Panyangara 6-0-51-0, Price 9-1-46-1, Chigumbura 3-0-20-0, Utseya 10-0-50-1, Cremer 7-0-42-0, Lamb 8-0-51-0.
Taylor c Jayawardene b Mathews 80
Chakabva b Muralitharan 35
Taibu c Sangakkara b Mathews 4
Utseya st Sangakkara b Dilshan 4
Ervine lbw b Dilshan 17
Chigumbura c Perera b Muralitharan 6
Lamb c Jayawardene b Dilshan 0
Cremer not out 14
Price c Samaraweera b Perera 11
T Panyangara lbw b Dilshan 0
C Mpofu b Muralitharan 1
Extras (B-2, LB-2, W-12) 16
Total (all out in 39 overs) 188
Fall of wickets: 1-116, 2-125, 3-132, 4-150, 5-156, 6-156, 7-165, 8-185, 9-185.
Bowling: L Malinga 8-0-51-0, N Kulasekara 8-0-33-0, T Perera 6-0-33-1, M Muralitharan 9-0-34-3, A Mathews 5-0-29-2, T Dilshan 3-1-4-4.