International first for Zimbabwe as SL win

Sri Lanka register first win of tri-nation tournament as Ryan Murray becomes first substitute to take wicketkeeping gloves

Sri Lanka ended their recent dismal run in ODI cricket with victory in Dhaka on Sunday as Zimbabwe produced an international first by handing their wicketkeeping duties to a substitute fielder.

The long-standing rule preventing the 12th man from wicketkeeping was reversed by the game's law-makers, the Marylebone Cricket Club, last year and the change came into effect in October.

And when Zimbabwean gloveman Brendan Taylor was injured on Sunday and unable to fulfil his duties in the field, uncapped 19-year-old Ryan Murray took the gloves and created a first at international level.

A wicketkeeper at junior level, Murray equipped himself well and took three catches behind the stumps, including a one-handed grab that he took diving away to his right.

He became the fifth substitute fielder in ODI history to take three or more catches in a match but in accordance with the rules of the game, none of the dismissals count towards his career record.


In November, Indian Ravi Kumar Rohith achieved what is believed to be the first instance in first-class cricket of a team using the new rule when he took the gloves in a domestic match in Cuttack.

Meanwhile, Thisara Perera claimed four wickets to lead an inspired Sri Lankan bowling attack that limited Zimbabwe to 198 before his unbeaten 39 helped the islanders to chase down their target in 44.5 overs.

Sri Lanka were in trouble at 5-145 before skipper Dinesh Chandimal (38 not out) and Perera put on an unbeaten 57-run stand for the sixth wicket. Perera sealed the win with a six to keep Sri Lanka's tournament hopes alive after they lost against Zimbabwe and hosts Bangladesh.

Zimbabwe paceman Blessing Muzarabani claimed three wickets to rattle the Sri Lankan top-order after opener Kusal Perera's dominating 49.

But the day belonged to Perera, who soon took the attack to the opposition with his 26-ball knock that was laced with a four and three sixes.

"He is a good experienced player. He has (been) playing tournaments everywhere. He is performing as a batsman and bowler. It is crucial," Chandimal, who led the side in place of injured Angelo Mathews, said of Perera.

"We missed the most senior player (Mathews) after the first game, so Thisara stood as up as a performer. I am really happy for him."

Mathews, meanwhile, was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with a hamstring injury. Mathews, 30, was injured during his team's opening ODI of the series on January 17 and missed their next two matches against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

Chandimal also said that Mathews' participation was uncertain for the bilateral series against hosts Bangladesh that will follow the tri-nation tournament.

Sri Lanka is scheduled to play two Tests and two Twenty20 matches against Bangladesh, with the series beginning in Chittagong with the first five-day game on January 31.

The win kept Sri Lanka in the hunt for a spot in the final as they still have a game in hand against Bangladesh.

Zimbabwe, who beat Sri Lanka by 12 runs in their first match of the tournament, also can qualify for the final if they can beat the hosts in their next match on Tuesday.