Sri Lanka thrashed Zimbabwe by 82 runs in the inaugural match of the T20 World Cup at Hambantota on Tuesday. The two Mendises - Jeevan and Ajanta did the star turns with the bat and ball to relegate Zimbabwe to an embarassing defeat.
After putting the home team into bat, Sri Lanka had a rapid start through Dilshan. When the other opener Munaweera got dismissed the scorecard read 54 in 6.3 overs. Thereafter, the Zimbabwean spinners managed to put a lid on the scoring as Lanka lost the wickets of Dilshan and captain Jayawardena. Jeevan Mendis who got promoted up the order joined hands with Sangakkara to wrest the initiative back from the visitors. The two added 92 runs in 8.1 overs as the Zimbabwean fielding wilted under the pressure. The Lankans ended with 182 runs on the board, as Cremer and Utseya were the only ones to have a semblance of control over the batsmen.
Thereafter, Masakadza and Sibanda started steadily but surely. However, the twin strikes of Sibanda and Taylor of consecutive deliveries derailed the innings, and they could never recover from it. Ajanta Mendis kept spinning a web around each of the batsmen to snare six wickets, while his namesake Jeevan Mendis too helped himself to three wickets. The Zimbabweans folded for a mere 100 runs.
Ajanta Mendis received the Man of the Match award for his figures of six wickets for eight runs in his four overs.