KANDY: Sean Williams smashed a sparkling 100 to guide Zimbabwe to 296 for nine against Sri Lanka in Sunday's opening one-day international at Kandy.
The left-handed Williams recorded his fifth ODI century to leave a challenging total after the tourists elected to bat first at the start of the three-match series.
Regis Chakabva, who hit 72, and debutant Takudzwanashe Kaitano, who made 42, set up the batting charge with an opening stand of 80.
Jeffrey Vandersay broke the partnership with his leg spin and denied Kaitano a fifty in the batsman's first international but Chakabva kept up the attack.
He made the most of a dropped catch on two to raise his fourth ODI half-century before being caught behind while attempting a slog sweep.
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Williams reached his fifty in 52 balls but lost his partner Wesley Madhevere, who made 20, on the next ball.
Sri Lankan bowlers attempted to check Zimbabwe's surge in the final few overs but Williams took the attack to the opposition and finished with nine fours and two sixes in his 87-ball knock.
He was finally bowled by Chamika Karunaratne, who finished with three wickets including two in the final over, which ended with a six and four by Richard Ngarava.