A brilliant unbeaten century from Craig Ervine helped Zimbabwe frustrate Sri Lanka after Dinesh Chandimal's reign as Test captain had started so well in Colombo on day one of one-off Test on Friday in Colombo. They had taken large leads into the second innings in each of the Tests they played in Zimbabwe previous year, but have since lost four of their last five matches, not to mention a host of ODIs. "We have to bat well and we need to make sure that we get to 350", said Herath, who had taken five wickets to help dismiss Zimbabwe for 356. Cremer's was the last Zimbabwe wicket to fall. With Sri Lanka trailing by just 63 runs, it will be an exciting contest tomorrow.
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After the a steady opening stand of 84 between Tharanga and Dimuth Karunaratne, new Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews steadied the ship with a valuable 96 for the fourth wicket between them, but Zimbabwe bowlers ripped through the Sri Lankan innings picking wickets at regular intervals to put hosts under tremendous pressure.
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Cremer's leg-spin and two crucial run outs left Sri Lanka reeling at 293-7 at stumps. But the visitors made a comeback right after lunch, getting rid of three of the opponents' batsmen which also reduced the scoring rate, bringing them back in the game. Sri Lanka lost three wickets during the second session, including well set Upul Tharanga as Sri Lanka took tea at 184 for the loss of three wickets.
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On both of the first two days Sri Lanka started strongly before allowing Zimbabwe to fight back and take control. "But if we can't manage that, we have to get them out cheaply in the second innings". Lahiru Kumara and Asela Gunaratne finished with two wickets each. Overnight centurion Craig Ervine top-scored with his Test best of 160.