By Lawrence Trusida Sport Editor
THE Zimbabwe national cricket team, the Chevrons, have leveled the three-match One Day International Series against Sri Lanka after beating the hosts by 22 runs at the Palekele Cricket ground in Kandy this Tuesday evening.
After losing the first ODI in the penultimate over of the game, the Chevrons made sure this time and wrapped up the game to level the series one-all, with the decider set for this Friday.
Zimbabwe won the toss and decided to bat and once again the batters did a good job as they managed to put 302 runs on board, in their allotted 50 overs.
This was only the first time that Zimbabwe has managed to score back to back three hundreds away from home against full member nations.
Captain Craig Ervine led his charges with distinction as he top-scored with 91 and he was ably assisted by Sikander Raza with 56, Sean Williams who contributed 48 to the cause and opener Regis Chakabva who scored 47 up top.
While the batting at the death could have perhaps been better, the bowlers were far more accurate with their lines and lengths than on Sunday night as they throttled the Sri Lankan chase.
It was only a 118-run stand off 120 balls between skipper Dasun Shanaka and Kamindu Mendis, and then a 66-run partnership between Shanaka and Chamika Karunaratne that kept the home side within touching distance.
Once Shanaka fell moments after reaching his maiden ODI hundred though, the writing was well and truly on the wall, but the Zimbabwean bowlers still kept to their tight lines and lengths and ensured there would be no chance of a late charge.
Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani finished with three wickets apiece while Wessly Madhevere and Richard Ngarava got a wicket each as Sri Lanka was dismissed for 280 runs for the loss of nine wickets.
The decider is on this Friday as the Chevrons look to gain more valuable ICC super league points.