Sri Lanka 100 for 0 (Karunaratne 61*) beat Oman 98 (Ayaan 41, Hasaranga 5-13, Kumara 3-22) by ten wickets

The win set up by Hasaranga with figures of 5 for 13 was finished off by the Sri Lankan openers, who completed the chase in 15 overs. Dimuth Karunaratne notched his 10th ODI fifty in the process.

The nature of the win has also given a significant boost to Sri Lanka’s net run rate – something which they will be able to carry over to the Super Sixes stage, provided Oman qualify. As for Oman, they remain in a good position to make the next round despite this defeat, with two wins from their three games.

On an overcast and cold Bulawayo morning, Dasun Shanaka wasted little time in putting Oman into bat, with proceedings expected to be tough for the batters early on.

Lahiru Kumara, bowling consistently in the 135-140kph range, was particularly impressive, as his pace allied with the hard lengths he so often looks to exploit, proved too much for the Oman batters, most of whom weren’t used to contending with such pace. Kumara’s first wicket came in his first over through a good length delivery that pitched and straightened on off stump. Kashyap Prajapati, who saw a leading edge dropped by Kumara off a similar ball earlier in the over, failed to get bat on it and was trapped on the back pad.

Kumara’s next two would come courtesy some shorter stuff, with first Zeeshan Maqsood and then Mohammad Nadeem chipping to square leg. He would end with figures of 3 for 22 in eight overs – a Player-of-the-Match worthy performance on any other day.

Kasun Rajitha at the other end picked up just a solitary wicket but was consistently threatening by bowling the nagging line outside off. Fittingly, it was an outswinger to Aqib Ilyas that would give him a deserved return, with the right-hander pushing uncertainly outside his off stump only to get a thick edge to a recently-installed fifth slip.

The Kumara-Rajitha one-two combo would eventually see Oman slide to 20 for 4 midway through the 10th over. Karunaratne, speaking after the game, said the conditions provided the pace attack an opening and they grabbed it. “Today we won the toss and there was something for the fast bowlers, with the cloudy conditions. They grabbed the opportunity.”

A 52-run stand between Jatinder Singh and Ayaan Khan then provided Oman a glimmer of hope of reaching a respectable total.

But in a single Hasaranga over all such hopes were vanquished. Three googlies, three wickets, zero runs – Jatinder, Shoaib Khan and Jay Odedra all sent packing. Jatinder and Odedra were dismissed lbw while Shoaib was castled after an ill-advised attempt at a slog. After that it was just a matter of time.

Ayaan sought to soldier on with the tail, but Hasaranga wasn’t having any of it. He would complete his five-for trapping Bilal Khan lbw as the last man. Four of his five wickets were either lbw or bowled. Only Ayaan, who was caught expertly at slip, would require the intervention of a team-mate. There was a run-out in the mix as well, just to compound a miserable day for Oman and yet another perfect outing for Sri Lanka.

Karunaratne summed it up: “We’ve won convincingly, and that’s what we’ve wanted to do. Everything is is pretty good shape. But we want to take it match by match and get to the Super Sixes.”


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