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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 April, 2004, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK
Sri Lanka sweep series
Fifth ODI, Harare:
Sri Lanka 246-7 beat Zimbabwe 221-9 by 25 runs

Sri Lanka win series 5-0

Muttiah Muralitharan
Murali starred with the ball on his return to the team
Muttiah Muralitharan grabbed five wickets as Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe by 25 runs in Harare to claim a 5-0 clean sweep in the one-day series.

Chasing 247 to win, the hosts were held to 221-9 despite Brendan Taylor's personal-best 74 giving them a chance.

Murali returned 5-23 - his eighth such haul in one-dayers - as Zimbabwe lost seven for 57 late in the reply.

A late flurry from Russel Arnold (51 off 51 balls) and Farveez Maharoof (38 off 30) helped Sri Lanka post 246-7.

The pair put on 71 runs in 47 balls for the seventh wicket after Sri Lanka had descended to 162-6 in the 42nd over.

Zimbabwe skipper and keeper Tatenda Taibu claimed his first wickets in international cricket, returning 2-42.

Tawanda Mupariwa also bagged two wickets for the home side still deprived of the 15 rebel players involved in a dispute with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.

Mupariwa took the important wicket of Mahela Jayawardene, who fared best from the Sri Lanka top-order with a 65-ball 47 before being bowled.

Sri Lanka brought back captain Marvan Atapattu, left-arm paceman Nuwan Zoysa and Muralitharan.

Stuart Matsikenyeri
Matsikenyeri (above) put on 79 for the first wicket with Taylor

They won the toss and batted but were in early trouble when Saman Jayantha holed out to Mupariwa off Doug Hondo with the score on 21.

Atapattu and Jayawardene put on a promising stand of 72 for the second wicket before the visiting skipper was caught by Stuart Matsikenyeri for 38 off Mupariwa.

Jayawardene followed in the 29th over just short of his 21st one-day fifty, reducing Sri Lanka to 128-3.

His dismissal precipitated a slide that saw four wickets go for 34, Tillakaratne Dilshan falling to a run-out for 21 and Taibu discarding his keeping gloves in the 30th over to add to Sri Lanka's problems.

Taibu bowled rookie Thilina Kandamby for 13 before having Upul Chandana caught by Dion Ebrahim for three.

But Zimbabwe were unable to turn the screw despite reducing Sri Lanka to 162-6, with Arnold and Maharoof taking control.

Zimbabwe's reply got off to a fine, if not electric, start, with Taylor and Matsikenyeri adding 79 for the first wicket.

Murali struck in the 21st over when Matsikenyeri, done for flight and spin, was stumped by Dilshan for 37.

Dion Ebrahim soon followed, bowled by Rangana Herath (2-36) for six, before Taylor and Taibu got the innings back into gear with a 64-run partnership.

But Taibu's dismissal, caught behind off Murali, signalled the start of the end for Zimbabwe. Four wickets quickly falling for 21 runs and the lower order merely proved cannon fodder for Murali.


Zimbabwe: Stuart Matsikenyeri, Brendan Taylor, Mluleki Nkala, Dion Ebrahim, Tatenda Taibu (captain), Elon Chigumbura, Alester Maregwede, Prosper Utseya, Tawanda Mupariwa, Douglas Hondo, Tinsahe Panyangara.

Sri Lanka: Saman Jayantha, Marvan Atapattu (captain), Mahela Jayawardene, Russel Arnold, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Thilina Kandamby, Upul Chandana, Farveez Maharoof, Nuwan Zoysa, Muttiah Muralitharan.


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