World Cup 1999, eighth group A match

Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe

At Worcester, May 22. Sri Lanka won by four wickets. Toss: Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka's flimsy hopes of defending their title were kept alive for a few days longer after Zimbabwe turned in their most error-strewn performance to date. They lost two batsmen to unnecessary run-outs and two more (Andy Flower and Streak) to catches off reverse sweeps. Sri Lanka responded to gifts like these by bowling and fielding with more zest than at any time in this competition. Though Brandes and Olonga took 17 off the last over, from Vaas, Zimbabwe lost any hope of advantage with another flurry of wides, 21 in all, taking their total to 70 in three games. Though Jayasuriya and De Silva - the fallen idols - failed once again, Sri Lanka were put on the way to victory by Mahanama and Atapattu, and were not seriously troubled. Zimbabwe's coach, Dave Houghton, ascribed the wides to nerves: "I think the guys are nervous because we're doing so well."

Man of the Match: M. S. Atapattu. Attendance: 5,107.

© John Wisden & Co