Sri Lanka won by 82 runs with Zimbabwe 1st Match T20 World Cup 2012
20 overs Sri Lanka 182 for 4 (Sangakkara 44, Jeevan 43*, Cremer 1-27) v Zimbabwe
A fourth-wicket partnership of 94 between Kumar Sangakkara and Jeevan Mendis allowed Sri Lanka to add 96 runs in the last eight overs to post an imposing total in first match of the World T20. Steady progress in the first half of their innings constructed the platform for Sri Lanka but it was left to the middle order to push forward the advantage.
Zimbabwe were overawed by occasion and quality of opposition and it showed. A shoddy showing in the field – something they have battled with of late – led to them conceding heavily while wickets remained elusive on a slow surface. Their spinners held the reins a little but their seamers were targeted by a strong Sri Lankan line-up.
After Zimbabwe elected to field, Kyle Jarvis found swing early on. He bowled an impressive two-over spell upfront, after he loosened up with a full toss. Dilshan Munaweera, the debutant, accepted the gift and opened his international account with a four past point. Jarvia should have had an early reward as well. Munaweera hoicked a delivery to midwicket and his timing was poor enough to give Malcolm Waller time to run from mid-on. The ball was always moving away from Waller, though, and he was left grasping humid air instead of the first wicket.
Jarvis’ opening partner, Brian Vitori, was also could have had an early scalp. Tillakaratne Dilshan got a leading edge over Brendan Taylor’s head and even though the wicketkeeper moved quickly, he could not get to it in time to take the catch.
Sri Lanka’s opening pair flirted with danger again when they stole a single to point in the same over as the Dilshan edge. A direct hit would have had him run-out. Zimbabwe kept the pressure on Sri Lanka and Munaweera could not control his attacking instincts when he flicked Chris Mpofu to deep midwicket. Waller found the ball following him and spilled a sitter. Munaweera went on to glance Mpofu’s low full-toss to the boundary after Dilshan brought out his scoop to make things worse for the bowler.
Luck finally went Zimbabwe’s way in the seventh over when Munaweera called for a run after sweeping to short fine-leg. Although Dilshan sent him back, he was too far down and lost his bat in search of his crease. Mpofu’s throw was accurate and the debutant was dismissed.
Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene battled to pick the leg-spin of Graeme Cremer and Jayawardene was given out lbw after he played outside the line to a full delivery. Cremer had cut the side crease and a no-ball was called. Two balls later, Dilshan tried to cut Cremer but edged to Taylor and Zimbabwe had hauled Sri Lanka back in.
In the 27 deliveries that Sri Lanka were unable to score a boundary, Dilshan was out and Jayawardene run-out while attempting a second run. Waller redeemed himself with the throw from deep point. But Zimbabwe could not build on the pressure they created.
Jeevan, who was moved up the order, broke the boundary drought when he drove down the ground off Mpofu, who was slow to get down in his follow-through. The ball sliced between the two fielders at mid-on and mid-off and Zimbabwe’s morale had been dented. Mendis picked Cremer better than his predecessors and hit him for back-to-back fours to bring up the Sri Lankan 100. He also sunk his teeth into Elton Chigumbura who bowled a poor over, giving away the first six of the match.
Zimbabwe unravelled while Kumar Sangakkara kept a cool head and collected runs in twos and threes, along with a gorgeous drive over point, which went for four. Sangakkara departed in the last over but the hard work had already been done.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
|That’s all we have from the opening night of the World Twenty20 of 2012. Hope you enjoyed the coverage. Do log in to read more about this game and previews for tomorrow’s games on the site. Cheers
“It is a tough pill to swallow,” says Brendan Taylor. “We are a far better side than what we showed. Credit goes to Sri Lanka. They showed why they are one of the favourites to win the tournament. We have played enough cricket to go back from today, rethink and come back a better side.”
“It’s tough paying a team like Zimbabwe,” says Mahela Hayawardene. “You can’t take anything to granted. We had to make sure we played to our potential. It’s a pretty good wicket, just needed to get used to it a little bit. Our guys batted really well, and the bowlers then did a super job.”
Mahela is going to interpret for Ajantha Mendis, who is the Man of the Match, but he says he doesn’t need any interpreting, and says: “I am really happy today. Playing cricket after nine months, I am really happy with my performance, and I will try my best in the coming matches.”
There are fireworks all over Hambantota as Sri Lanka get off to an emphatic start in their home WorldT20, and also surely progress to the Super Eights? Sri Lanka were not extravagant against an ill-disciplined Zimbabwe in the field, and efficiently reached 182. Extravagance and flamboyance was then to be unleashed through the spin of Mendises. Ajantha was sensational on his return with figures of 4-2-6-8, and Jeevan chipped in with three. Zimbabwe, well they couldn’t read them at all. Don’t go away too far, we will have the presentation soon enough
|17.3||Malinga to Mpofu, OUT, slower ball, too good form Mpofu as he lobs it to mid-off while backing away|
|CB Mpofu c sub (LD Chandimal) b Malinga 0 (5m 2b 0×4 0×6) SR: 0.00|
|A wide slip is in|
|17.2||Malinga to Vitori, 7 runs, nicely pish-driven, although he did back away to stay away from the line of it. Places it wide of cover, and gets three by the time deep point gets around. And his throw reach points, and Dilshan shies at non-striker’s end to allow four overthrows. I don’t remember ever seeing seven off one ball|
|17.1||Malinga to Vitori, no run, full, on off, angling away, Vittori doesn’t want to get in line here|
|Malinga comes back|
|End of over 17 (6 runs) Zimbabwe 93/9 (90 runs required from 18 balls, RR: 5.47, RRR: 30.00)
|16.6||BMAJ Mendis to Mpofu, no run, big wind-up from Mpofu, and he is beaten by the googly. It’s just headed down leg|
|Chris Mpofu is the last man in. All wickets have fallen to a Mendis. Jeevan has one ball to finish it off. One slip in place|
|16.5||BMAJ Mendis to Cremer, OUT, natural variation for Mendis. Flighted legbreak, Cremer has read this right, but the ball doesn’t turn enough, and squeezes through the gap between pad and bat to hit the middle stump|
|AG Cremer b BMAJ Mendis 17 (22m 20b 2×4 0×6) SR: 85.00|
|16.4||BMAJ Mendis to Cremer, 2 runs, pushed through, on the pads, worked wide of deep square, and they risk a second, which is facilitated by a wide throw from substitute Chandimal|
|16.3||BMAJ Mendis to Cremer, no run, full, on off, pushed back to him|
|16.2||BMAJ Mendis to Cremer, no run, tries another slog-sweep, but this is thrown up, and he is early into the shot. Beaten|
|16.1||BMAJ Mendis to Cremer, FOUR, full, middle and leg, slog-swept away to cow corner for four|
|Mendis removes his cap and waves to the crowd as he walks off the field|
|End of over 16 (wicket maiden) Zimbabwe 87/8 (96 runs required from 24 balls, RR: 5.43, RRR: 24.00)
|15.6||BAW Mendis to Vitori, no run, Vittori misses on the sweep, and that is his second wicket-maiden. Lethal spell from Mendis: 4-2-8-6. You better believe it|
|15.5||BAW Mendis to Vitori, no run, accurate carrom ball, in front of off, defended to cover|
|15.4||BAW Mendis to Jarvis, OUT, that’s best bowling figures in all T20 internationals, beating Mendis’s own 6 for 16. This is a googly, and as alien to Jarvis as Persian. Short of a length, pitched outside off, beats his bat by a mile, and traps him smack in front|
|KM Jarvis lbw b BAW Mendis 0 (1m 3b 0×4 0×6) SR: 0.00|
|15.3||BAW Mendis to Jarvis, no run, ful and straight, holding its line in front of off, defended to cover|
|15.2||BAW Mendis to Jarvis, no run, flighted outside off, driven to extra cover|
|15.1||BAW Mendis to Utseya, OUT, Can he ever? Tossed up putside off, making the tailender drive, the ball turns away a little, and the edge goes into the lap of Mahela at slip. That’s Mendis second five-for in Twenty20 Internationals|
|P Utseya c Jayawardene b BAW Mendis 1 (4m 2b 0×4 0×6) SR: 50.00|
|Mendis to bowl his last over. Can he get five?|
|End of over 15 (7 runs) Zimbabwe 87/6 (96 runs required from 30 balls, RR: 5.80, RRR: 19.20)
|14.6||BMAJ Mendis to Cremer, no run, short of a length, on off, pushed to cover|
|14.5||BMAJ Mendis to Cremer, no run, length ball, on off, holds its line, goes back to keep it out|
|14.5||BMAJ Mendis to Utseya, 2 wides, googly again, but this starts too straight, and goes down for wides|
|14.4||BMAJ Mendis to Cremer, 1 run, full and straight, another misfield, at midwicket this time. Single taken|
|14.3||BMAJ Mendis to Cremer, 2 runs, googly, too short again, worked away off the pads, Ajantha Mendis misfields at deep square to allow the second|
|14.2||BMAJ Mendis to Utseya, 1 run, flighted, middle and off, doesn’t turn, runs off the inside edge for one|
|14.1||BMAJ Mendis to Cremer, 1 run, flighted outside off, driven to long-off for one|
|End of over 14 (5 runs) Zimbabwe 80/6 (103 runs required from 36 balls, RR: 5.71, RRR: 17.16)
|13.6||BAW Mendis to Chigumbura, OUT, Mendis has four for the fourth time in his career. And three of them bowled. This looks like a googly too. Full, pitched just outside off, Chigumbura plays for the turn away, and the ball sneaks through to hit off|
|E Chigumbura b BAW Mendis 19 (36m 19b 1×4 1×6) SR: 100.00|
|13.5||BAW Mendis to Chigumbura, FOUR, flat, down the leg side, helped away with a sweep to fine leg|
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