The only Test between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at R Premadasa Stadium awaits for a thrilling end as both teams eye victory on the final day.
Zimbabwe started day four at 252/6 with a lead of 262 runs. Sikandar Raza brought up his maiden Test century in the morning. He scored 127 runs from 205 balls with 9 fours and a six. He made a 144-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Malcolm Waller. Waller scored 98-ball 68 hitting 8 fours.
Zimbabwe skipper Graeme Cremer added useful runs for his team. He scored 48 off 94 balls with 5 fours. Donald Tiripano contributed 55-ball 19 in the 55-run partnership with the captain. Zimbabwe’s innings finished with 377 runs in 107.1 overs.
Rangana Herath took 6 wickets for 133 runs in 39.1 overs with five maidens. It was his 31st five-wicket haul in Tests. With five wickets in the first innings and six in the second, the veteran scalped 11 for 249 runs which was his 8th ten-wicket haul in Tests.
Sri Lanka were set a mammoth total of 388 to chase. Openers Upul Tharanga and Dimuth Karunaratne didn’t panic as they made 58-run stand. The partnership was broken by Cremer when. Karunaratne was involved in another fifty partnership, adding 50 with Kusal Mendis.
A huge turner from Sean Williams sent Karunaratne back for 49 runs. Soon, skipper Dinesh Chandimal was dismissed by Cremer for the second time in the match. He made only 15 off 17.
Mendis (60*) and Angelo Mathews (17*) have kept the host side’s hopes alive as Sri Lanka finished at 170/3 in 48 overs. They require another 218 runs on the final day while Zimbabwe need seven wickets to claim a historic victory.
Zimbabwe 356 & 377
Sri Lanka 346 & 170/3 in 48 overs (Mendis 60*, Karunaratne 49; Cremer 2/67, Williams 1/62)
-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com