Hambantota, Sep 18: It was Mendis duo's magic that crushed Zimbabwe in the opening match of the ICC World Twenty20 2012 here on Tuesday night. Ajantha Mendis (record haul of 6/8) and Jeevan Mendis shared nine wickets between them to give Sri Lanka a huge 82-run victory at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium. Zimbabwe were spun out for 100 in 17.3 overs, in pursuit of 183.
Scorecard; Highlights of this game
Ajantha Mendis, who arrived on the international scene as a mystery spinner in 2008, is still bamboozling some batsmen. After being out of the Sri Lankan T20I team since November last year, he has made a stunning return. Most of the top sides had batted with ease against Ajantha Mendis after facing him regularly. But Zimbabweans, tonight, were put in a spin by Ajantha.
Zimbabwe batsmen were clueless against this spinner. His figures of 4-2-8-6 is a dream one. This is the best in World T20 International history. He bettered his own mark of 6/16 (Vs Australia in August 2011 in Pallekele). It is stunning to note that he bowled 20 dot balls in his spell today. Ajantha had a double-wicket maiden and later one-wicket maiden. It was a delight to watch him. Jeevan Mendis too was in top form, capturing three wickets for 24 runs in four overs.
Six of Zimbabwe's batsmen failed to reach double digits. Hamilton Masakadza's 20 was the highest in the a total of 100. Ajantha had three batsmen bowled, one LBW, one stumped and other one caught at slip by captain Mahela Jayawardene. It was an easy choice for the Man-of-the-match award as Ajantha claimed the honour.
Sri Lanka innings
Sri Lanka posted 182/4 in 20 overs against Zimbabwe in the opening match of ICC World Twenty20 2012 here on Tuesday night. Kumar Sangakkara was the top scorer with a 26-ball 44 (2x6, 1x6).
Tillakaratne Dilshan (39) and debutant Dilshan Munaweera (17) put on a half century partnership for the opening wicket. The hosts scored 53/0 in the first six overs where fielding restrictions apply.
Earlier, Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor won the toss and chose to bowl.
This is Group C match. South Africa is the third team in this group. Top two will progress to the Super Eight stage.
Zimbabwe have left out their experienced left-arm spinner Ray Price. Prosper Utseya and Graeme Cremer will be their spinners.
Sri Lanka have gone in with Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara as two main fast bowlers. Ajantha Mendis is also playing.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Jeevan Mendis, Dilshan Munaweera, Thisara Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne.
Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor (captain and wicketkeeper), Vusi Sibanda, Hamilton Masakadza, Malcolm Waller, Elton Chigumbura, Craig Ervine, Graeme Cremer, Brian Vitori, Prosper Utseya, Kyle Jarvis, Christopher Mpofu.
Umpires: Ian Gould (England) and Rod Tucker (Australia)
TV umpire: Richard Kettleborough (England)
Match referee: Jeff Crowe (New Zealand)
Reserve umpire: Steve Davis (Australia)