Sri Lanka won the fourth One-Day International against Zimbabwe by six wickets in Harare on Saturday. An explosive third wicket stand of 144 runs between Romesh Kaluwitharana (99) and Mahela Jayawardena (63) highlighted Sri Lanka's successful chase of 261 runs.
The first of this five-match series was abandoned due to rain. Sri Lanka won the second and third. The fifth will be played on Sunday at the same venue. Sri Lanka lost opener Sanath Jayasuriya at 25 and Marvan Atapattu at 44. But these runs had come off only seven overs. Thus it served as a source of inspiration to the next pair of Kaluwitharana and Jayawardena.
The two went on a breezy note with the pocket-sized dynamite Kalauwitharana being the major contributor to the partnership that grew at a rapid pace. The score read 95 for two in 15 overs, 125 for 2 in 20, 163 for 2 in 25 and 188 for 2 in 30. That should speak for the felicity with which the pair went about its job. Kaluwitharana missed a century by the narrowest of margins. When on 99 (85 balls, 11x4, 1x6), Kaluwitharana went for a wild pull-drive off Henry Olonga only to miss the line of the ball.
He was clean bowled. Soon, Jayawardena the cool and composed batsman was brilliantly taken by wicket-keeper Andy Flower off Eddo Brandes. Flower dived to his right to take a low catch. The third umpire took the decision. . Jayawardena made 63 off 81balls (6x4). The score read 213 for 4 in 33.5 overs at that juncture. The next pair of R.Arnold (42 not out) and TM Dilshan (20 not out) added 49 runs in 68 balls to see Sri Lanka through with 5.2 overs to spare.