Hambantota: In a rain-curtailed match, Zimbabwe managed to level the 5-match series against Sri Lanka after they bagged a win by 4 wickets in the 4th ODI at Hambantota on Saturday.
Initially, chasing a target of 301, the visitors got a decent start from the openers but lost a couple of quick wickets in the form of Hamilton Masakadza and Mire. Masakadza chipped in with 28 while Mire scored 43.
But the play was put to halt due to rain after 21st over when Zimbabwe’s score read 139/5.
The target for Zimbabwe was eventually reduced to 209 in 31 overs. Craig Ervine began the proceedings in an aggressive fashion and hammered Sri Lankan bowlers to score unbeaten 69 .
Earlier, a record double-century stand between openers Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka guided Sri Lanka to 300-6.
Dickwella (116) and Gunathilaka (87) put together 209 runs after the hosts elected to bat first -- becoming the first pair in ODI history to score back-to-back double century partnerships.
The left-handed batting duo had put on a 229-run match-winning stand in the previous ODI on Thursday at the same venue.
While Dickwella hit his second successive century with a commanding 116, Gunathilaka missed out on what could have been his second ODI ton after being bowled for 87.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Dickwella, who scored 102 on Thursday at the same venue, played a patient 118-ball knock laced with eight boundaries before being trapped lbw.
Zimbabwe off-spinner Malcolm Waller got the two prized wickets in successive overs to pull things back for the visitors.
Paceman Chris Mpofu also got two wickets to rattle the Sri Lankan middle-order as the hosts slipped from 216-1 to 263-5.
Skipper Angelo Mathews then lifted the total with his 40-ball 42, with help from Wanindu Hasaranga (19 not out) during their 37-run partnership for the seventh wicket.
The five-match series level 2-2.
Sri Lanka - 300 for 6 (Dickwella 116, Gunathilaka 87, Waller 2-44, Mpofu 2-61)
Zimbabwe - 219 for 6 (Target 219 in 31 over) (Ervine 69*, Hasaranga 3-40)
Result - Zimbabwe won by 4 wickets (D/L method)