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Ton-up Ervine lifts Zimbabwe out of trouble

16 July, 2017, 01:32 | Author: Greg Wolfe
  • Zimbabwe's Craig Ervine celebrates after scoring a ton v Sri Lanka during Day One of the one-off Test at Colombo yesterday. Pic  AFP

A double strike from Herath and Asela Gunaratne (2-28) dented Zimbabwe's momentum and restricted them to 282 for eight.

As stumps were drawn at Kettarama on day two of the one-off Test against Zimbabwe, Sri Lankan batsmen may rue their failure to convert starts into big scores to provide a solid platform for an imposing total in their first innings. Tiripano found success in the first over post lunch as he broke the 84-run opening partnership and sent Dimuth Karunaratne back for 25.

Graeme Cremer took three wickets for the visitors who then ran out Dilruwan Perera late in the day to make it an even contest.

The hosts, who saw Angelo Mathews step down as captain after their shock defeat to Zimbabwe in the one-day series, looked much the better side in the 55 overs bowled so far. But after that Sri Lanka lost a few qucik wickets to be reduced to 116/3.

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It was Herath's 30th five-wicket haul in Tests as he returned figures of 5 for 116. Since 2000, over a spell of 28 matches, they have earned a first-innings lead only four times - once in the West Indies and thrice in Bangladesh. But first we've got to get out the two batsmen at the crease at the moment [Asela Gunaratne and Rangana Herath].

Herath removed Donald Tiripano for a well-made 27 with the penultimate over of his second over of the day while seamer Lahiru Kumara removed centurion Craig Ervine five balls later to end Ervine's long resistance.

But left-handed Ervine, who hit his second test hundred, compiled two half-century partnerships with Sikandar Raza (36) and Malcolm Waller (36) to lead the fightback for Zimbabwe, who beat Sri Lanka 3-2 in the recent one-day global series.

He faced 256 deliveries and hit 13 boundaries and a six for his second Test century.

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