April 2003 was last time when Zimbabwe played final of a multi country tournament (vs Pakistan, including Kenya and Sri Lanka) in Sharjah untill today ~ 9 June 2010, up against Sri Lanka for the cup having beaten third team India twice last week. sadly, baby faced Zimbabweans couldn't absorb the occassion and ended up with an embarrsing defeat..
It was a bizarre triseries where all teams batting second had won the league games and today Lankan captain Tillakaratne Dilshan decided not to experiment. Electing to bowl first, Dilshan's new ball bowlers Nuwan Kulasekara and Dilhara Fernando pegged home team back early from which they never really recovered. Kulasekara, in perticular, bowler his inswingers artistically and mixed an outswinger very well to dismiss Hamilton Masakadza. Brendon Taylor fell to an incredible catch by Thilan Samarweera at gully and Zimbabwe were 29 for 2 wickets at the end of 10th over, digging a hole for themselves.
Tatenda Taibu looked like the inspiration local team needed, sweeping spinners almost every single time and then lofting off-spinner Suraj Randiv over covers for two beautiful fours. Taibu looked set for his maiden one day ton, added 90 runs in partnership with Greg Lamb but a soft drive off Dilhara Fernando ended his dangerous looking innings. Captain Elton Chigumbura, Lamb himself and then Charl Coventry departed trying to accelerate the rate of scoring and hosts were finished a run short of two hundred total. with an over to spare.
Sri Lankans knew Harare pitch would be baked/flattened out by bright sunshine when they started smalish chase, and both of them set themselves for a century. Upul Tharanga sacrifised his wicket for captain Dilshan who made a bad call, but later completed his century (7th in ODIs, 1st vs Zimbabwe, 1st as captain) to see Lankans home with 9 wickets in hand, in association with Dinesh Chandimal.
Final scoresZimbabwe (lost the toss) 199 all out in 49 overs
Tatenda Taibu 71 (93b), Greg Lamb 37, D Fernando 3/36
Sri Lanka 203 for 1 wicket in 34.4 overs (won by 9 wkts)
Tillakaratne Dilshan 108*, Upul Tharanga 72, D Chandimal 16*
Full scorecard : Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, triseries final, 9 June 2010.
Rudy Koertzen's final onedayerSouth African umpire, the man with record of most one day (209) and second more test matches (106) and 14 Twenty20, finished his limited over match commitments today. Rudy will be standing in 2 test series between Australia and Pakistan in England this July 2010 but he's now done with one dayers and twenty20 internationals.