Zimbabwe post imposing first-day total

By Staff Writers | July 14, 2017

The sweep shot came to good use against Sri Lanka's spinners for Craig Ervine. © AFP

Craig Ervine scored a career-best 151 not out to see Zimbabwe to 344/8 at the end of the first day's play of the only Test against Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, Zimbabwe got off to a tough start and soon found themselves three down for just 38 runs.

Rangana Herath ended the day with 4-106 in a 30-over spell that saw him surpass Waqar Younis and Malcolm Marshall in the list of most career Test wickets. Herath, playing in his 81st Test match, now has 377 wickets.

Ervine and Donald Tiripano (24 not out) remained unbeaten at stumps and frustrated the hosts with a 62-run stand last-wicket stand.

Sri Lanka, who are looking to bounce back from the 3-2 ODI series defeat they suffered at the hands of Zimbabweans this month, looked to be making light work of the visitors' batting, as wickets tumbled rapidly in the first two sessions.

Zimbabwe openers Regis Chakabva (12) and Hamilton Masakadza (1) both fell to Herath, while debutant Tarisai Musakanda (6) was dismissed caught behind by paceman Lahiru Kumara in the 13th over.

It was unlikely, at this point, Zimbabwe would reach a competitive total but Ervine combined with Sikandar Raza (36) for an 84-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

Sensible partnerships lower down the order, at a healthy run rate, helped Zimbabawe reach a strong position on a surface that appeared to assist bowlers but was also great for stroke-making.

"At the start, the wicket was a little bit damp but, once it dried out, it was nice to bat on," Ervine said of the pitch. "We wanted to have a good rate throughout the day."

Sri Lanka's cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha was unhappy his side conceded almost 350 runs in a day.

"It is a bit disappointing to end up at [344/8] after taking the top four wickets cheaply," Gurusinha admitted. "But this is Test cricket and I have got to give credit to Craig Ervine. It was a really good knock and he batted well"


Zimbabwe 1st inn - 344/8 (C. Ervine 151*, S. Raza 36; R. Herath 4-106, A. Gunaratne 2-28)

© Island Cricket


Stormy's picture
Member since:
15 January 2011
Last activity:
5 hours 54 min

If those who were asleep thinking all is well and the talent is galore, if this headline doesnt wake you up nothing will. After all these years it's still Herath or nothing.

Anonymous's picture

Someone who has at least played first class cricket should replace Roshan Abeysinghe in the commentary box. He doesn't understand cricket and just talks like a parrot. Also He is not different to Charlie Austin, because he is a player manager as well. He is full of Conflict of Interests. Indian board removed Harsha Bhogle from commentary panels due to similar reasons but he wasn't a player manager.

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