Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe: Dimuth Karunaratne's ton puts tourists on top on Day 4 of 1st Test

AFP, Nov, 02 2016
Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe: Dimuth Karunaratne's ton puts tourists on top on Day 4 of 1st Test

Harare: Dimuth Karunaratne’s fourth Test century helped Sri Lanka build a formidable lead before rain thwarted their victory push over Zimbabwe in the first Test on the fourth day at Harare Sports Club on Tuesday.

Karunaratne backed up his half-century in the first innings with 110 in the second, which allowed Sri Lanka to progress to 247 for six when the rain arrived just 3.5 overs into the final session.

With a lead of 411, the tourists would have hoped to declare and have a bowl at the Zimbabwean top order, but while the rain lasted less than an hour the light failed to improve and so no further play was possible.

Dimuth Karunaratne raises his bat after completing his century. AFP

The game will restart half an hour earlier on the final morning, at 09:30 am local time.

“We have a whole day tomorrow and we’ll give a good fight,” said Karunaratne.

The Zimbabweans were able to restrict Sri Lanka from scoring early on the fourth morning as the tourists resumed on five without loss, with fast bowler Carl Mumba bowling Kaushal Silva in the seventh over of the day.

But Karunaratne gradually opened up, and added 55 brisk runs for the second wicket with Kusal Perera.

"It wasn’t easy to start with against the new ball this morning, but once you get in you can play your natural game on this wicket, which is what I did,” said Karunaratne.

“After the Australia series I played a couple of A games against West Indies and scored a couple of big scores, so I felt in good form before this Test and had faith in my ability.”

Although Perera fell for 17 when he edged a delivery from Malcolm Waller to slip, and Mumba dismissed Kusal Mendis and Upul Tharanga either side of the lunch break, Karunaratne was able to maintain a steady scoring rate with Dhananjaya de Silva, who made 64 in 82 deliveries.

Karunaratne was eventually caught and bowled by Chris Mpofu in the lead-up to tea, while de Silva became Mumba’s fourth victim shortly after the break, giving the debutant figures of 4 for 50.

But with Sri Lanka closing in on a declaration, bad light and then rain took hold, leaving Zimbabwe with less time to hold out for the draw.

“One of the ways we’ve improved is in being able to force the opposition to take the game even longer,” said Zimbabwe bowling coach Makhaya Ntini.

Published Date: Nov 01, 2016 | Updated Date: Nov 02, 2016

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3925 123
2 South Africa 3050 117
3 Australia 3087 100
4 England 3362 99
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4579 114
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115