Zimbabwe shows it will be no World Cup pushover

IS former Australian batsman Dav Whatmore on the verge of another World Cup miracle?

Whatmore, who led Sri Lanka to a surprise victory against Australia in the final in Pakistan in 1996, took over a dispirited and under-performing Zimbabwean team just six weeks ago, and if yesterday's seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in Lincoln is any guide, the Africans could spring some surprises before this World Cup is over.

The star for Zimbabwe was Hamilton Masakadza who finished 117 not out, and shared an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 119 with Sean Williams (51) to chase down the target of 280 and claim a morale-boosting victory.

The all-rounder was one of a group of players, including bowling all-rounder Stuart Matsikenyeri, who is back for his first international since 2012, brought into the line-up by Whatmore.

Masakadza's score was his biggest outside Zimbabwe. While the result was a confidence-booster for Zimbabwe, it was the second defeat from two warm-up matches for Sri Lanka who need to re-evaluate its strategy ahead of Saturday's opening match against New Zealand.

Sri Lanka won the toss and batted, but while plenty of its batsmen got starts, only Dimuth Karunaratne (58) and allrounder Jeevan Mendis (51) managed to get to the half-century mark.