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Zimbabwe opt to bat against Sri Lanka in first ODI

KANDY, SRI LANKA (AFP) – Zimbabwe skipper Craig Ervine won the toss and elected to bat in their opening one-day international against Sri Lanka yesterday.

Debutant Takudzwanashe Kaitano has been added to the Zimbabwe team and Ervine said he wanted to take advantage of what looked like decent batting conditions.

“Wicket looks really good for batting, and we think we want to try and make best use of that and get through that initial new ball spell,” Ervine said at the toss.

“It took us one or two days to get used to the heat and humidity, but we’re happy with our preparations.”

Sri Lanka, led by Dasun Shanaka, have handed fast bowler Chamika Gunasekara his international debut.

“We would have batted first as well. We had a good preparation over the last week, and in the LPL (Lanka Premier League),” said Shanaka.

“There are five changes from the last time we played an ODI with Chamika Gunasekera debuting today.”

The three-match series offers crucial Super League points needed for an automatic qualification for the 2023 50-over World Cup.

The top eight teams will get a direct entry into the tournament.

Sri Lanka is currently placed seventh while Zimbabwe is bottom in 13th spot.

Zimbabwe’s Takudzwanashe Kaitano and Regis Chakabva run between the wickets during a match at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy. PHOTO: AFP