HARARE – Zimbabwe can take a huge step towards the final of the this tri-series with victory over Sri Lanka in today’s ODI at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Heath Streak’s side began the series on bad note when they succumbed to a crushing eight-wicket defeat to Bangladesh last week.
However, they quickly regrouped and bounced back with a 12-run win over Sri Lanka two days later.
At the moment, Sri Lanka are in turmoil after they also lost by a huge 163 runs to the Tigers in their second match on Friday.
Zimbabwe will be confident going into today’s match knowing that they face a side they have beaten four times in their last six meetings in ODIs.
Just like in their last match, Streak’s side will be banking on all-rounder Sikanda Raza to do damage with both bat and ball today.
Last Wednesday, Raza scored an unbeaten 81 from 67 as he helped Zimbabwe post a competitive 290 for six in 50 overs.
Masakadza is also enjoying a good run of form after scoring a well-worked 73 from 83 which took his tally to 326 runs in the last five innings against Sri Lanka.
Raza believes stability in team selection has been the major factor in Zimbabwe’s recent form against Sri Lanka.
“I think consistency in selection definitely helped,” Raza said.
“I think we have gone with the same squad for a lot of series and that is certainly showing. When you have a guy next to you in the change room for a longer period of time, it gives you that extra confidence.”
As for Sri Lanka, their new coach Chandika Hathurusingha is already under pressure which prompted all-rounder Thisara Perera to come out in his defence following the loss to Bangladesh on Friday.
Meanwhile, the ICC has cleared the bowling action of Zimbabwe quick Brian Vitori, who had been sidelined while undergoing remedial work during his 12-month suspension since December 2016.
He was first suspended from bowling in January 2016 before a reassessment saw him return to bowling in June 2016.
However, a repeat offence during the Bulawayo ODI against Sri Lanka in November later that year ensured that he was banned for a period of 12 months.