HAMBANTOTA, July 10: Sikandar Raza starred with the bat and ball to help Zimbabwe edge out Sri Lanka by three wickets and clinch a historic series victory in the fifth One-day International today.
Taking the series 3-2 in Hambantota, the 11th-ranked Zimbabwe registered their maiden series win in Sri Lanka and first overseas triumph in eight years.
Off-spinner Raza claimed three wickets to restrict the hosts to 203-8 after Zimbabwe elected to field first. He then anchored a tense chase with an unbeaten 27 as the visitors won with 71 balls to spare.
Zimbabwe opener Hamilton Masakadza top-scored with a fluent 73 before rookie off-spinner Akila Dananjaya struck back with four wickets to rattle the Zimbabwe middle-order.
The visitors slipped from 137-1 to 175-7 � losing six wickets for 38 runs � but Raza and skipper Graeme Cremer (11 not out) hung on for an unbeaten 29-run stand as the perennial underdogs erupted in celebrations.
�Happy that Sikandar came to the party. It turned around very quickly but happy we pulled it off in the end,� an elated Cremer said following their win.
Sri Lanka: N Dickwella c Moor b Chatara 3, D Gunathilaka lbw b Williams 52, K Mendis c Cremer b Raza 1, U Tharanga b Raza 6, A Mathews c Masakadza b Cremer 24, A Gunaratne not out 59, W Hasaranga c Cremer b Raza 0, N Kulasekara b Cremer 5, A Dananjaya c Musakanda b Waller 7, D Chameera not out 18. Extras: (B-5, LB-7, W-16) 28. Total: (For 8 wkts; 50 overs) 203. Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-13, 3-31, 4-78, 5-119, 6-120, 7- 126, 8-153. Bowling: Raza 10-1-21-3, Chatara 9-1-49-1, Cremer 10-1- 23-2, Mpofu 6-0-36-0, Williams 10-0-41-1, Waller 5-0-21-1.
Zimbabwe: H Masakadza c Kulasekara b Malinga 73, S Mire b Gunaratne 43, T Musakanda c Hasaranga b Dananjaya 37, C Ervine lbw b Dananjaya 2, S Williams c Mendis b Dananajaya 2, S Raza not out 27, M Waller c & b Malinga 1, P Moor c Mendis b Dananjaya 1, G Cremer not out 11. Extras: (LB-2, W-4, NB-1) 7. Total: (For 7 wkts, 38.1 overs) 204. Fall of wickets: 1-92, 2-137, 3-148, 4-152, 5-165, 6-172, 7-175. Bowling: Malinga 10-0-44-2, Kulasekara 3-0-25-0, Gunaratne 4-0-23-1, Dananjaya 10-1-47-4, Hasaranga 6.1-0-45-0, Chameera 4-1-16-0, Gunathilaka 1-0-2-0. � AFP