Fantastic Taylor guides Zimbabwe into final
Brendan Taylor smashed an unbeaten 119 as Zimbabwe overcame Sri Lanka in the last group game of the Tri-Nation series in Harare.
Taylor’s match-winning innings of 119 came from 137 balls as he guided the run chase and took the man of the match of award, his third in a row.
After winning the toss Zimbabwe decided to bowl first and it initially looked to have been the wrong decision as both openers, Tharanga and Dilshan, scored freely. The breakthrough came when Utseya was introduced, Taibu with a tidy stumping removed Dilshan for 78.
None of the middle order made any real contribution as Tharanga dropped anchor and ensured Sri Lanka ended with a competitive total making 69 from 97 balls. The Zimbabwean spin duo of youngster Alex Cremer and evergreen Ray Price strangled the Sri Lanka batsman as they reached crumbled to 236 all out.
Their reply did not begin well as Thushara had Masakadza caught behind for just three. However from here on in, Zimbabwe were, somewhat surprisingly, in complete control as Taylor and Chibhabha timed their innings to perfection.
Chibhabha cruised to his half century until he fell lbw to Dilshan. A collapse briefly threatened but Tatenda Taibu’s calmness along with Taylor’s patience saw Zimbabwe home with two overs and a ball to spare.
Taylor was again in top form striking nine fours and a six. Most impressive was his reverse sweep and straight six in the last 10 overs to all but seal the game.
Zimbabwe will play Sri Lanka in the tournament’s final on Wednesday in Harare.