At Bulawayo, November 27, 2016. Sri Lanka won by six wickets. Toss: Zimbabwe. One-day international debut: T. K. Musakanda.
This was a match of two distinct halves, each with their own weather and batting conditions. In gusting early rain, Zimbabwe inexplicably decided to bat, and were trussed up by the spinners, who shared eight wickets. Tarisai Musakanda, making his debut, top-scored with a boisterous 36, but Zimbabwe could muster only 160, which never looked enough - especially when the clouds parted and the weather mellowed to provide near-ideal conditions for batting in the afternoon. To their credit, Zimbabwe's bowlers never let the runs come easily, with Vitori - recalled after remedial work on his action - picking up three early wickets (sadly for him, he was reported again after the match). The top order had been undone by their rush to get at the bowling, but skipper Tharanga ground his way towards the target. At one point he had 28 from 78 balls, before hitting Chisoro for three successive fours; not long after, he crashed Sikandar Raza for four and six to seal the win. An energised crowd, numbering around 3,000, never lost their voices, even as defeat loomed. After a large, unwieldy trophy was handed over to the happy Sri Lankans, the Zimbabwean squad went across to the busy side of the ground, adjacent to the old clubhouse, to thank the Bulawayo faithful for their support.
Man of the Match: B. K. G. Mendis. Man of the Series: B. K. G. Mendis.