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Zimbabwe beats Sri Lanka by 4 wickets…MATCH STATISTICS…

Zimbabwe won by four wickets Luke Jongwe starred with a brilliant cameo at the death that took Zimbabwe to a sensational four-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the second Twenty20 international match in Colombo on Tuesday.

He scored 25 not out off only 12 balls, helped by Clive Madande with two sixes in the five balls he faced, but Jongwe was the man who, with 20 runs needed for victory off the final over, hit two sixes and a four off the first three balls to set it up.

Zimbabwe, winning the toss, put Sri Lanka in to bat and made a wonderful start. In his first over, Blessing Muzarabani struck twice, first having Pathum Nissanka caught off a high thick edge at third man by Jongwe for one.

His next delivery got the invaluable wicket of Kusal Perera, slicing a catch to Ryan Burl who took a fine catch at backward point, and Sri Lanka were one for two wickets off 10 deliveries.

In the fourth over, Kusal Mendis went, also caught by Burl at point, and then Sadeera Samarawickrama, who had scored 16 off 12 balls, edged a catch to the keeper off Wellington Masakadza.

Sri Lanka were reeling at 27 for four wickets in the fifth over.

Unfortunately for Zimbabwe, they could not maintain the advantage, and there followed an excellent rescue partnership for Sri Lanka by Charith Asalanka and Angelo Mathews, who played themselves in before launching into a strong attacking game – and got away with it.

Playing some brilliant strokes, they added 118 in 13 overs, and Zimbabwe could not break through again until the 18th over when, after 67 had come off four overs, Asalanka was out to a very good low running catch by Sean Williams off Jongwe’s bowling.

He had scored 69 off 39 balls (three sixes, five fours), and Mathews was still there at the end of the innings with 66 off 51 (two sixes, six fours).

The final total was 173 for six, a marvelous recovery, while Muzarabani finished with his two wickets for 36 runs in four overs.

When Zimbabwe batted, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe made his usual dashing start, only to be cut short for 12 off 13 balls when he was caught at midwicket off a top-edged pull – 22 for one.

Brian Bennett came in next and took a few balls to settle, but Craig Ervine found his form and batted well.

However, Zimbabwe were failing to keep up with such a high required run rate, and after 10 overs had managed only 60 runs.

Ervine then hit Dasun Shanaka for a six over square leg and an over later went to his fifty off 38 balls. Bennett was bowled for 25 off 20 balls, and Sikandar Raza now came in himself, the 100 coming up after 13 overs.

This time he could not get going, though, being brilliantly caught for eight on the midwicket boundary as he tried to pull a ball from Dushmantha Chameera for six.

Zimbabwe’s hopes took a further knock as Williams, trying to reverse-sweep, was bowled by Maheesh Theekshana for one – 112 for four in the 15th over.

Sixty runs were needed from the last five overs, but Ervine’s gallant innings came to an end on 70, as he misread a googly from Wanindu Hasaranga and skyed a catch, having hit two sixes and six fours off 54 balls.

Burl scored 13 off nine balls, and it seemed that Zimbabwe’s last hope had gone with him. However, Madande came in and hit a six, and 20 runs were needed off the final over, bowled by Mathews to Jongwe.

Jongwe brilliantly hit a no-ball for six over long-on and followed it with a four and another six, this one straight down the ground. Only three runs were needed off the last four balls.

Jongwe missed one and then took a single off a skyer that was dropped. Madande faced and he did not let his team down as the fifth ball of the over went for a magnificent six, heaved over the midwicket boundary, and Zimbabwe had won a glorious victory against the odds.

The three-match T20I series is now level at one victory apiece, going into the final match on Thursday.

Sri Lanka – 173-6 in 20 overs (Charith Asalanka 69, Angelo Mathews 66*, Sadeera Samarawickrama 16; Luke Jongwe 2/32, Blessing Muzarabani 2/36, Richard Ngarava 1/30) Zimbabwe – 178-6 in 19.5 overs (Craig Ervine 70, Luke Jongwe 25*, Brian Bennett 25; Maheesh Theekshana 2/25, Dushmantha Chameera 2/30, Dilshan Madushanka 1/24).

Zimbabwe Cricket

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