Raza's fighting knock rallies Zimbabwe

Razas fighting knock rallies Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe's Sikandar Raza plays a shot as Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella (right) and Dimuth Karunaratne look on.

Colombo - Sikandar lifted Zimbabwe from a precarious 23-4, followed by 59-5, after Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Rangana Herath rattled the visitors' batting with four early wickets



By AFP

Published: Sun 16 Jul 2017, 10:48 PM

Last updated: Mon 17 Jul 2017, 12:58 AM

Sikandar Raza hit a gritty 97 not out to help Zimbabwe recover from a top-order collapse and stretch their second innings lead over Sri Lanka to 262 in the one-off Test on Sunday.
The visitors were 252 for six at stumps on day three, with Raza and Malcolm Waller (57) putting on an unbeaten 107-run stand for the seventh-wicket at Colombo's R Premadasa Stadium.
Raza lifted Zimbabwe from a precarious 23-4, followed by 59-5, after Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Rangana Herath rattled the visitors' batting with four early wickets.
Herath, who got three wickets before the lunch break, bowled Sean Williams for 22 in the second session as Zimbabwe teetered dangerously close to losing their 10-run advantage.
It was then that Raza put together 86 runs with Peter Moor (40) for the sixth wicket to turn the tables on Sri Lanka. Moor fell to paceman Lahiru Kumara. Raza, who registered his fifth Test fifty, used the sweep shot to great effect against the spinners as he found another partner in Waller to thwart the Sri Lankan bowling attack.
"The dressing room was very quiet after the lunch break as we were 23-4. Then we said to ourselves, let's fight back and show that we mean business," Waller told reporters."We have created history in the ODI series and we have a great chance here as well. If we can get another 100 runs that will give us a good chance to win this Test," Waller, whose side eye their first-ever Test win over Sri Lanka, added.
Earlier skipper Graeme Cremer helped Zimbabwe take the lead after claiming his maiden five-wicket haul in a Test, helping bowl Sri Lanka for 346 in the morning session.
But it was Herath's left-arm spin that undid the fine work from leg-spinner Cremer (5-125).
Herath, who registered his 30th Test five-wicket haul in the first innings, ran riot at the start of Zimabwe's second essay to get the wickets of Hamilton Masakadza, Tarisai Musakanda and Regis Chakabva.
Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera joined forces to get the prized wicket of first-innings centurion Craig Ervine for five at the stroke of lunch.
Sri Lanka's interim coach Nic Pothas, who took over the job after Graham Ford prematurely ended his contract last month, was not surprised by the visiting sides' fighting qualities.
"The fight that Zimbabwe have shown is not surprising at all. They have a quality support staff and they have some fine  players," said Pothas, who represented South Africa in three ODIs.
"I have played against Zimbabwe when I was playing for South Africa and they used to always put up good fights."
 

SCOREBOARD

Zimbabwe 1st innings 356 (C. Ervine 160; R. Herath 5-116)

Sri Lanka 1st innings (overnight 293-7; A. Gunaratne 24 not out, R. Herath 5 not out)

D. Karunaratne c Masakadza b Tiripano 25

U. Tharanga run out (Tiripano) 71

K. Mendis c Chakabva b Cremer 11

D. Chandimal c Chakabva b Cremer 55

A. Mathews c Masakadza b Williams 41

N. Dickwella b Cremer 6

D. Perera run out 33

A. Gunaratne b Cremer 45

R. Herath st Chakabva b Williams 22

S. Lakmal c & b Cremer 14

L. Kumara not out 1

Extras (b8, lb10, w1, nb3) 22

Total (all out; 102.3 overs) 346

Fall: 1-84, 2-107, 3-116, 4-212, 5-226, 6-238, 7-274, 8-322, 9-343, 10-346

Bowling: Mpofu 11-2-41-0 (w1); Tiripano 10-1-38-1; Raza 18-2-60-0; Cremer 39.3-4-125-5 (nb1); Waller 1-0-2-0, Williams 23-3-62-2 (nb2)


Zimbabwe 2nd innings

H. Masakadza lbw b Herath 7

R. Chakabva b Herath 6

T. Musakanda c Karunaratne b Herath 0

C. Ervine c Karunaratne b Perera 5

S. Williams b Herath 22

S. Raza not out 97

P. Moor c sub (Gunathialka) b Kumara 40

M. Waller not out 57

Extras (b4, lb7, w6, nb1) 18

Total (6 wickets; 68 overs) 252

Still to bat: G. Cremer, C. Mpofu, D. Tiripano

Fall: 1-14, 2-16, 3-17, 4-23, 5-59, 6-145

Bowling: Lakmal 9-0-28-0; Herath 23-2-85-4; Perera 21-1-69-1; L. Kumara 11-3-43-1; K. Mendis 4-0-16-0


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