Tell us what you think of the new cricket section at whatdoyouthink@bskyb.com

Don't show again

Day 1 of 1
Sri Lanka win by 82 runs

Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe

Easy opener for Sri Lanka

Mendis stars with the ball as Sri Lanka cruise to victory

Ajantha Mendis: Finished with figures of six wickets for eight runs

Kumar Sangakkara (L) top-scored for Sri Lanka with 44 runs

Hosts Sri Lanka coasted to an 82-run victory over Zimbabwe in the opening match of the Twenty20 World Cup in Hambantota.

Having lost the toss and been inserted by Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka posted a total of 182-4 from their 20 overs with a fourth-wicket partnership of 94 between Kumar Sangakkara (44) and Jeevan Mendis (43) the mainstay of the innings.

That score always looked like being a tough ask for Zimbabwe to chase down and so it proved as spinner Ajantha Mendis ran through their unconvincing batting order, finishing with the best-ever international Twenty20 bowling figures of six wickets for eight runs from his four overs.

Namesake Jeevan Mendis also chipped in with three as Zimbabwe were dismissed for 100 with 15 balls of their innings remaining.

Having started strongly, Sri Lanka endured a minor wobble in the middle of their innings as they were reduced to 82-3.

Opener Dilshan Munaweera was the first man to go as he was run out for 17 in the seventh over and Tillakaratne Dilshan and captain Mahela Jayawardene then went in quick succession to raise Zimbabwe hopes.

Lost momentum

Graeme Cremer claimed the scalp of Dilshan (39) as he was well caught behind by wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor having mistimed a cut off a quicker ball, while Jayawardene (13) was also run out two overs later as momentum was briefly lost.

But Sangakkara and Jeevan Mendis steadied the ship and then pushed on as Sri Lanka racked up 96 runs from their last eight overs to post an imposing score.

In reply, Zimbabwe were quickly reduced to 43-3 with captain Taylor dismissed for a first-ball duck.

Opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza top-scored with 20 but after that things went downhill, with only four other batsmen creeping into double figures.

Jeevan Mendis (3-24) claimed the scalps of Craig Ervine (10) and Malcolm Waller (0) in the same over before Zimbabwe finally capitulated in the 18th over when Lasith Malinga removed Chris Mpofu for a duck.

Taylor downbeat

Zimbabwe skipper Taylor was naturally disappointed to fall to such a convincing defeat in the opening game.

He told Sky Sports 1: "We are a far better side than how we performed today but it was tough. We have to bounce back strongly. There's no excuse for it.

"We've all played enough cricket to go away from today and rethink, come back tomorrow and start training but we don't have a long time until Thursday."

Sri Lanka captain Jayawardene said: "It's tough playing a team like Zimbabwe as you can't take anything for granted.

"We got got a good score then bowled really well. It's a pretty good wicket but you have to get used to the pace a bit. The spinners came on and did the job."

Match Details

Date
18th Sep 2012
Toss
Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bowl.
Venue
Mahinda Rajapaksha International Cricket Stadium
Umpires
I J Gould and R J Tucker

zimbabwe BATTING CARD

Batsman R
Masakadza b B.A.W. Mendis 20
Sibanda b B.A.W. Mendis 11
Taylor st Sangakkara b B.A.W. Mendis 0
Chigumbura b B.A.W. Mendis 19
C.R. Ervine st Sangakkara b B.M.A.J. Mendis 10
Waller lbw b B.M.A.J. Mendis 0
A.G. Cremer b B.M.A.J. Mendis 17
Utseya c B.A.W. Mendis 1
Jarvis lbw b B.A.W. Mendis 0
B.V. Vitori not out 7
Mpofu c sub Malinga 0
Extras 6w, 9lb 15
Total All Out, 17.3 Overs 100
Full Batting Card

sri lanka BOWLING CARD

Bowler O M R W
Kulasekara 3 0 16 0
Malinga 2.3 0 20 1
B.A.W. Mendis 4 2 8 6
Mathews 2 0 7 0
Perera 2 0 16 0
B.M.A.J. Mendis 4 0 24 3
Full Bowling Card