Wanindu Hasaranga’s bottom-order demolition eased Sri Lanka to a 2-1 series win against Zimbabwe on Thursday after the tourists were bowled out in Colombo for 82, their worst T20I total.
The home captain’s 4-15 included two scalps on his final two deliveries and Sri Lanka cruised to a nine-wicket victory inside 11 overs.
Pathum Nissanaka (39*) and Kusal Mendis (33) added 64 runs in 46 balls before a deceptive turner from left-arm spinner Sean Williams took the latter off-stump for Zimbabwe’s sole breakthrough.
Nissanka sealed Sri Lanka’s win by launching Sikandar Raza for six over long-on when the scores drew level.
Zimbabwe had a creditable start with 56-3 after the first six overs of powerplay but struggled to score boundaries once fielding restrictions eased.
No 3 batsman Brian Bennett top-scored with 29 off just 12 balls, including four boundaries in the second over, before a Hasaranga catch off Angelo Mathews sent him back.
But a quick collapse saw the tourists lose their last six wickets for just 11 runs including three in the final three balls of the innings.
Sri Lanka’s fielding stepped up after a shambolic show in the second match handed them a four-wicket defeat and Zimbabwe their first T20I win in the island nation.
Hasaranga’s 4-15 was backed up with a return to form by ex-skipper Mathews, who shared the new ball and finished with two wickets.
Mathews had conceded 24 runs in the final over of the second match to gift Zimbabwe their come-from-behind win.
Thursday marked the first T20I series win for Sri Lanka after a drought stretching back to their Asia Cup win in 2022.
They next host Afghanistan for a one-off Test and six white-ball matches.
© Agence France-Presse