Thisara stars as Sri Lanka stay alive in tri-nation series

Sri Lanka remain in contention to reach the tri-nation series final as Thisara Perera's exploits inspired a five-wicket win over Zimbabwe.

Sri Lanka all-rounder Thisara Perera   -  Getty Images

Thisara Perera excelled with both bat and ball as Sri Lanka defeated Zimbabwe by five wickets to remain alive in the tri-nation series.

After losing their opening two matches to Zimbabwe and hosts Bangladesh earlier this week, Sri Lanka knew another defeat on Sunday would leave them out of contention for next weekend's final.

And without talismanic leader Angelo Mathews due to a hamstring injury, it was another all-rounder in Thisara who led the way, claiming 4-33 from eight overs as Zimbabwe were skittled out for just 198, before anchoring a successful chase with an unbeaten 39 from 26 balls.

Zimbabwe's only score of note came from Brendan Taylor (58), while Graeme Cremer added a late 34 before Nuwan Pradeep (3-28) cleaned up the tail.

Kusal Perera struck four fours and a six in his 49 at the top of the order, before edging Blessing Muzarabani (3-52) behind to substitute keeper Ryan Murray, who took his place on the field after Taylor complained of a stiff back.

Kusal Mendis made 36 but it was left to stand-in captain Dinesh Chandimal (38no) and Thisara to see Sri Lanka home, the latter clearing the ropes three times as victory was secured with 31 balls to spare.

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