Sri Lanka in Zimbabwe, 2 Test Series, 2020
Venue: Harare Sports Club, Harare
Date: 27 January-31 January, 2020
RR: 2.34 | Zimbabwe drew with Sri Lanka
The series goes 1-0 to the Lankans. Dimuth Karunaratne is joined by his teammates as he receives the trophy. The pitches in Zimbabwe are by no means sporty and all we got is two dull, boring matches. Zimbabwe now head to Bangladesh while the Lankans go back home to receive West Indies. Hopefully, those matches should be more entertaining. See ya!
Dimuth Karunaratne, the Sri Lankan skipper, says that Zimbabwe dominated them on all the four days. He also adds that it is not easy to come back after a drubbing but Zimbabwe bounced back. He also mentions that it is not easy to bat on Day 5 but his boys showed great grit and Mendis especially played a great hand. He ends by saying that he is proud of his boys and is looking forward to their series against West Indies.
Man of the Series is Angelo Mathews. He says it is always nice to contribute with the bat. Adds that the support staff did well to support him. Credits Zimbabwe for fighting hard and playing well. Mentions in the first Test the wicket was easy to bat on and in this Test, they had to literally grind out session by session. Ends by praising Kusal Mendis who did well to save the Test match.
Man of The Match, Sikandar Raza says that he feels nice that he channelized the emotions in the right way. Shares that he worked hard when he was off the field. Further says that he had worked hard in the nets and the result is there to be seen. He is satisfied with his performance in this Test. Signs off by saying that he is looking forward to playing a lot more cricket for Zimbabwe.
Sean Williams, the Zimbabwe skipper, says that they are happy with the way they played. He also thanks Brendan Taylor for leading the team in his absence. Applauds the efforts put by Raza for bowling well in the first innings. Adds there are a lot of challenges with the field placing. Williams also says that it was difficult to motivate the boys. Mentions the new faces in the team gave their best. He also shares that the boys are excited for their tour of Bangladesh.
Oshada Fernando's departure did not create a panic situation in the visiting camp as Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews weathered the storm by playing everything that was thrown at them by the Zimbabwean bowlers. Mathews returned to the pavilion courtesy of a good catch by Craig Ervine. Kusal Mendis continued his good play and was ably supported by Dinesh Chandimal who played 75 balls for his 13 runs. Mendis also reached his 7th Test ton in the process. Stay tuned for the presentation...
In the final innings, on the final day, the writing was on the wall in terms of a result. Given that Raza took a 7-fer in the first innings, one might have expected an encore in the second, with the pitch turning. But this time, the Lankans had learnt their lesson. The batsmen dug in, spending time on the wicket, especially the likes of Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis and kept the bowlers at bay.
Coming to Sri Lanka, well, they underperformed in this game. They come from a region where playing spin is an art but they meekly surrendered to Raza's off spin in their first innings. They struggled with the ball in both innings, with the bowlers not being that penetrative.
Now, the saying goes that when an opportunity knocks on your door, do not close the door. Zimbabwe perhaps did that. They just could not get a sense of when to declare and kept on batting, in spite of poor forecast on Day 4, which perhaps, killed their chances of a win. Did they feel that Sri Lanka would chase down anything close to even 300 with 3-and-a-half sessions? A bit of more exposure and experience would have made them declare earlier.
They backed it up with a good bowling performance as well, with Raza using the spin on the track to good effect. His 7-fer floored the Lankans and helped the hosts get a lead of 113. Massive, in such circumstances.
Normally, once you get 400-plus on the board, it is very difficult to lose. And Zimbabwe got that total, batting first. Riding high on Sean Williams' century and a couple of half centuries from Sikandar Raza and Brendan Taylor, they did post a good total.
Finally, the game ends. Not surprisingly, in a tame draw. This was always on the cards after rain spoilt the show on Days 3 and 4 but credit to Zimbabwe for not bowing down.
DRINKS BREAK! This also signals the beginning of the last hour of the match. Almost 14 overs remain and still there are no signs of handshakes from either of the teams. See you on the other side of the break.
Donald Tiripano is on now. 13-9-10-0 are his figures so far.
The second new ball is available and it has been taken straightaway.
Aleem Dar is back! He is seen taking his accessories back from Christopher Phiri.
Sikandar Raza is back on. 25-8-48-1 are his figures so far.
Aleem Dar is walking off the field. Not sure what has happened. He was seen holding his neck as he trudged off the field. Christopher Phiri is the reserve umpire who will dispense the duties in place of Aleem Dar. But he will only be standing at the square leg position.
We are back for the final session of the match. The players are out in the middle. Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal will resume their batting for Sri Lanka. Sean Williams will start the proceedings for Zimbabwe in the final session.
... Day 5, Session 3 ...
Another session comes to an end and we are heading closely to the end of this Test. Just a session more and we all know the outcome here. 30 overs bowled by the Zimbabwean bowlers and Sri Lanka just waiting for the game to end. With 205 runs needed more for Sri Lankan win, it looks impossible that the Islanders will go behind it. The Zimbabwean hopes of a win are almost lost after the 81-run stand between Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis took the momentum away from the hosts. Sri Lanka lost Mathews against the run of play. Mendis continues to shine and hold one end up. 29 overs still remain in the game and Zimbabwe need 7 wickets to get an unlikely win here. With lights too fading a draw is what is the likely outcome. Join us back in about 20 minutes.
Tinotenda Mutombodzi is finally here to bowl in the second innings.
Kusal Mendis is in a bit of pain here. He is struggling with his back. The physio is out in the middle. He seems to be fine to continue after some pain relief gel is applied on his lower back.
Dinesh Chandimal is the new man in.
Victor Nyauchi is back on. 6-2-23-0 are his figures so far.
Drinks Break! It has been a good hour for Sri Lanka despite losing Oshada Fernando early on in the hour. But Mendis has continued to play his part and Mathews has joined him in the middle to manoeuvre the Sri Lankan innings slowly and steadily. Another sedate hour awaits.
Donald Tiripano is back on. 8-4-10-0 are his figures so far.
Angelo Mathews is the new batsman in.
Sikandar Raza to bowl from the other end.
We are back for the second session. The players are out in the middle. Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis will resume their batting for Sri Lanka. It is a bit gloomy out there. Still there are no signs of rain. It might come in the later part of the day. But looking at the current scenario a draw looks on the cards but let us see what this session brings in. Sean William will start the proceedings for the second session.
... Day 5, Session 2 ...
It took just one ball for Zimbabwe to declare. Sri Lanka have lost one wicket and Fernando and Mendis have done well to stay there. The Zimbabwe bowlers have done well to keep it tight but are not able to strike quickly. The visitors lost Karunaratne early but Oshada and Kusal have ensured to frustrate the hosts out there by stitching a fifty- run stand. Still 59 overs left in the day and it seems like Sri Lanka have made up their mind of playing for a draw. Is there still drama left in the day? Join us back at 1240 local (1040 GMT) to know more.
Sean Williams is back on. 6-0-28-0 are his figures so far.
Donald Tiripano is back on. 5-4-4-0 are his figures so far.
Sikandar Raza is back on. 7-2-13-0 are his figures so far.
Drinks Break! Zimbabwe declared after just playing one ball of the morning session. Sri Lanka then came out to bat and the openers were looking positive until Karunaratne edged one to the keeper. Since then, the pair of Fernando and Mendis have ensured that there are no further casualties and have played typical brand of Test match cricket. An exciting hour before the Lunch break awaits us.
Victor Nyauchi is on.
Victor Nyauchi is seen warming up.
Sean Williams is into the attack.
Kusal Mendis is the new batsman in.
Carl Mumba is into the attack.
Donald Tiripano to bowl from the other end.