Fielding captains usually can't say enough during the pre-innings huddle. Whether it's going over the game plan or firing up the side, most yap on animatedly until the batsmen cross the boundary to force an end to the pow-wow. Brendan Taylor's approach in Hambantota was simpler, and you suspect more powerful, given the occasion. "Give it everything," he said, and nothing more. The words would have resonated with a team that is often overlooked to the point of being forgotten. This was their first international in seven months.
The run out
Dilshan Munaweera looked nervous on his international debut, and his awkward dismissal will not make him feel any easier at this level. Munaweera played a sweep off Prosper Utseya, lost his balance and stumbled into the pitch. The fall meant he didn't see Christopher Mpofu field the ball at short fine leg when he took off for a run. Tillakaratne Dilshan sent him back quickly, but Munaweera lost his bat amid the commotion, and a lunge with his boot was not enough to get him home.
The triple misfield
Zimbabwe had many ordinary moments in the field, but none so comical as the misfield in the 13th over that went through two sets of hands, evaded a third fielder and narrowly missed the umpire and the non-striker to boot. Chris Mpofu got down to stop a Jeevan Mendis straight drive, but the ball popped up off his wrist and had both Kumar Sangakkara and Ian Gould ducking to avoid being hit. Long off and long on converged to clean up the misfield, but Brian Vittori let the ball slip through his fingers as well, and that deviation undid Prosper Utseya's efforts and the ball crossed the rope.
Kumar Sangakkara is renowned for the correctness of his strokes, and though he has made himself a very good limited-overs batsman, daring strokes and innovation have not been a strength, particularly in comparison to the other senior batsmen in the Sri Lanka side. His ramp shot off a slower bouncer in the 16th over hinted he had been working on a new facet of his game, but it was the slog sweep off Chris Mpofu in the final over that confirmed a willingness to innovate. Mpofu barely overpitched, but Sangakkara had picked the length early, and hammered the 125 kph delivery over square leg for six.
The shot II
Lasith Malinga may be the fastest bowler in Sri Lanka's arsenal, but Hamilton Masakadza wasn't afraid to treat him like a spinner when he charged the first delivery of the fourth over, intent on pounding him to the boundary. Malinga saw the batsman and dug it in short, but Masakadza had been ready for that. He curtailed his backswing and clobbered Malinga over wide mid-on for four.