Record fifth wicket partnership pushes Sri Lanka to 173 against ZimbabweTue, 16 Jan 2024 15:49:28 GMT

A record 118-run partnership between Angelo Mathews and Charith Asalanka bailed Sri Lanka out in the second T20 against Zimbabwe, as they posted 173 for six in 20 overs after being put into bat in Colombo on Sunday.  Sri Lanka, who lead the three-match series 1-0, initially struggled having been reduced to 27 for four in 4.4 overs.Seamer Blessing Muzarabani claimed two wickets in successive balls, as Zimbabwe’s bowlers justified the decision to bowl first.  However, Mathews and Asalanka staged a remarkable comeback. Their 118-run stand, which came off 79 deliveries, is a new Sri Lankan record for the fifth wicket, eclipsing the 86-run partnership between Asalanka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa against Bangladesh in Sharjah in 2021.Mathews, Sri Lanka’s hero in their victory in the first T20, was slow off the blocks.But he cashed in during the death overs, finishing on 66 not out from 51 balls, with six fours and two sixes. It was his sixth half-century in T20 cricket.  Asalanka, meanwhile, passed 50 for the fifth time, making 69 off 39, with five hits to the rope and three over it. Sri Lanka were 83 for four at the end of the 14th over, and in the last six overs they more than doubled their score with 90 runs coming for two wickets.