The Men's World Cup Qualifier has changed a lot since Sri Lanka last played in it, way back in 1979. Back then it was played in whites with a red ball, games were 60 overs per side and none of the matches had ODI status.
The tournament may have changed but on the strength of today's performance, Sri Lanka's dominance of the event hasn't. In 1979 they won all matches that were played - a wash out against Wales and a walk-over defeat by Israel after they refused to play them were the only marks on their record - including dominant wins in the semi-final against Denmark and the final against Canada, scoring 300 twice at a time when there had only been four 300 plus scores in the brief history of ODIs.
ODIs may be 50 overs now, but nobody bats an eyelid at a 300 plus score these days, so it was no surprise when Sri Lanka racked up 355-6 from their 50 overs against a UAE bowling attack not really suited to the conditions in Bulawayo, with four spinners used amongst the seven bowlers.
Kusal Mendis top scored for the Sri Lankans with 78 from 63 balls, with Sadeera Samarawickrama close behind on 73 off 64. Earlier both openers had scored half-centuries with Pathum Nissanka contributing 57 and Dimuth Karunaratne scoring 52. Charith Asalanka clubbed an unbeaten 48 from only 23 balls during the final overs of their innings.
UAE started their run chase rapidly but very quickly came unglued. Four batters got starts with Muhammad Waseem and Vriitya Aravind both scoring 39, Rameez Shahzad scoring 26 and Ali Naseer 34. Only one other batter made double figures.
The Emiratis were bundled out for 180 to lose by 175 runs. Wanindu Hasranga bowled superbly to take six wickets for just 24 runs, his best bowling figures in ODIs and the sixth best for Sri Lanka overall.
UAE will next be in action on Wednesday against neighbours Oman, whilst Sri Lanka next play on Friday, also against Oman.