Cricket Article

Sri Lanka Register 10-Wicket Win over Zimbabwe

Sri Lanka Register 10-Wicket Win over Zimbabwe Photo: TT
Sri Lanka won their Test against Zimbabwe

Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe, who were playing their first test match at home for more than two years, by 10 wickets in Harare

And it was the hosts who won the toss and, opting to bat first, got off to a good start with Prince Masvaure, and Kevin Kasuza giving them a solid platform at the top of the order, putting on 96 in fifty overs before Masvaure was the first man to go caught by Dimuth Karunaratne off the bowling of Lasith Embuldeniya for 55. However, Kasuza then put on 66 for the second wicket with Craig Ervine until he was dismissed for 63, lbw to Lasith Kumara. He had hit one six. Ervine and Brendan Taylor then batted out the rest of the day, as Zimbabwe closed on 189 2. Ervine was 55 not out, and Taylor was unbeaten on 13.

Sri Lanka struck early on the second morning, Suranga Lakmal having Taylor lbw for 21. Ervine and Craig Williams added 39, but then both fell in the space of 5 balls, Williams caught behind off Embuldeniya for 18, and Ervine bowled by Lakmal for 85. He had struck 3 sixes and 5 fours. Embuldeniya then had further success when he had Regus Chakabva caught by Angelo Mathews.

Sikandar Raza and Donald Tiripano put on 41 before Raza was stumped off Embuldeniya for 41, who then bowled Kyle Jarvis. Ainsley Ndlovu was caught off Kumara, whilst Victor Nyauchi was the last man to fall, caught off the bowling of Lakmal for 11. Tiripano was 44 not out, as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 358.

Embuldeniya was the most successful of the Sri Lankan bowlers with 5 for 114.

In reply, Sri Lanka lost Oshada Fernando, bowled by Tiripano, but Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis saw them through to stumps at 42 1. Karunaratne was 12 not out overnight, and Mendis unbeaten on 6.

Resuming on the third morning, the pair added 50 to the overnight score until Karunaratne was dismissed for 37, caught by Ndlovu off the bowling of Nyauchi. Mendis then shared a stand of 92 for the third wicket until he fell for 80, caught by Taylor, with Nyauchi the bowler yet again, Then Mathews put on 43 with Dinesh Chandimal, and, after the latter was caught and bowled by Williams for 12, combined in a partnership with Dhanajaya de Silva that was worth 68 by the close of play.

At stumps Sri Lanka were 295 4, with Mathews 92 not out, and Dhananjaya unbeaten on 42.

Resuming on the fourth morning, Sri Lanka lost Dhananjaya early, caught by Masvaure off Nyauchi for 63, but Mathews went on to complete his 10th test century. Mathews and Niroshan Dickwella then shared a stand of 136 for the sixth wicket, until Dickwella was lbw for 63 to Sikandar Raza. That brought Lakmal to the crease, and he added 49 with Mathews until he fell for 27, stumped off the bowling of Raza.

Two more wickets fell quickly, Embuldeniya to Raza and Kasun Rajitha lbw to Williams, but Mathews reached his double century, at which point Sri Lanka declared on 515 9. Mathews 200 not out featured 3 sixes and 16 fours.

Trailing by 157, Masvaure and Brian Mudzinganyama reduced the deficit by 30 without suffering any loss of wickets. Masvaure was 15 not out, and Mudzinganyama unbeaten on 14.

However, Zimbabwe lost both men early on the fifth morning, Masvaure caught behind off Lakmal, and Mudzinganyama lbw to the same man. And when Lakmal then had Ervine caught by Karunaratne, the home side were reduced to 41 3.

However, Taylor and Williams steadied matters with a stand of 79, until both fell in the space of five balls. First, Lakmal took his fourth wicket of the day when he had Taylor caught by Mendis for 39, and then Williams was caught behind for 38 off the bowling of Rajitha.

Rana and Chakabva added 28, but Rana became the sixth wicket to fall when he was stumped off Embuldeniya for 17. Chakabva and Tiripano dug in for 19 overs, scoring just eleven runs in the process, but then Tiripano was lbw to Kumara, who then bowled both Jarvis and Ndlovu. The last man to fall was Chakabva who was bowled by Embuldeniya for 26, as his side were bowled out for 170.

That left Sri Lanka just needing fourteen runs to win, and Fernando and Karunaratne duly knocked them off in three overs.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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