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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 September, 2004, 16:25 GMT 17:25 UK
Sri Lanka survive scare
ICC Champions Trophy, The Oval, Sri Lanka 195-6 (43.5 overs) beat Zimbabwe 191 (49.1 overs) by four wickets

Elton Chigumbura
Zimbabwe's Elton Chigumbura gave a superb all-round display

Sri Lanka made an unimpressive entry into the Champions Trophy as they overcame a magnificent Zimbabwe side by four wickets at The Oval.

Zimbabwe could only muster a modest score of 191 despite a stand of 64 in 10 overs between Elton Chigumbura (57) and Prosper Utseya (31).

But they performed superbly in the field to reduce Sri Lanka to 99-4.

All-rounder Chigumbura claimed 3-37 but it was not quite enough as Sri Lanka reached 195-6 in the 44th over.

Defeated they may have been, but Zimbabwe's young side proved there is plenty of raw talent in a side shorn of a dozen senior players, who quit international cricket after a dispute with the country's cricket union.

There are a lot of positives we can take from this game
Tatenda Taibu
Chigumbura showed maturity way beyond his 18 years as he hit six stylish boundaries in his 71-ball innings and followed that by dismissing Saman Jayantha, Marvan Atapattu and Mahela Jayawardene.

It looked plain sailing for Sri Lanka at the start of play as Nuwan Zoysa (3-19) and Farveez Maharoof (3-38) raced through Zimbabwe's top order.

They were backed up by some superb catching with wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara taking two chances at full stretch to his right and Upul Chandana holding a fierce cut by Brendan Taylor at point at the second attempt.

Farveez Maharoof
Maharoof accounted for Mark Vermeulen via a thin outside edge

When Zoysa had Tinashe Panyangara caught at mid-off to claim his 100th one-day wicket, the underdogs were 120-7.

But Chigumbura was given aggressive support by Utseya, who was not afraid to use his feet to the spinners and hit the ball in the air.

He eventually perished when he skied a catch off leg-spinner Chandana, who also had Chigumbura lbw when he missed an attempted pull.

When Sri Lanka began their reply, the last thing they would have expected was that both openers would be back in the pavilion inside four overs.

But so it proved as Avishka Gunawardene and Sanath Jayasuriya paid the price for wafting outside off stump.

Mark Vermeulen continued the trend of excellent catching as he pulled down a sharp chance high to his left at second slip to send Gunawardene on his way for nought.

Panyangara and Doug Hondo were the successful bowlers, but it was Chigumbura who really sent a shiver of apprehension around the Sri Lanka dressing room.

Jayantha (36) drove the medium-pacer to extra cover and Sangakkara (28) sliced to point soon after being dropped down the leg-side by wicket-keeper Taibu.

Skipper Atapattu looked to be guiding his side home when he was caught behind for 43 and Jayawardene followed lbw to leave Sri Lanka on 162-6.

Tillakaratne Dilshan (25) and Chandana responded to adversity with some positive strokes and it was Chandana (20) who ended proceedings by hoisting Chigumbura over mid-wicket for six.

Sri Lanka (from): Marvan Atapattu (capt), Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chaminda Vaas, Farveez Maharoof, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Zoysa, Dilhara Fernando, Saman Jayantha, Avishka Gunawardene, Upul Chandana, Kaushal Lokuarachchi.

Zimbabwe (possible): Tatenda Taibu (capt, wkt), Brendan Taylor, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Vusi Sibanda, Mark Vermeulen, Dion Ebrahim, Elton Chigumbura, Tinashe Panyangara, Prosper Utseya, Douglas Hondo, Edward Rainsford.

Report: BBC Five Live's Jonny Saunders

Interview: Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu

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