The first Test between hosts Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka at the Harare Sports Club ground will go the full length with two possible results on the final day. Sri Lanka may fancy their chances for a win by an innings with the lead they possess at the end of day 4 while Zimbabwe will most probably push for a draw.
Most of the day was just about Angelo Mathews and his memorable innings. Starting off the day by reaching his 10th Test ton, Mathews went on to become Sri Lanka’s 10th Test double centurion later on in the day.
Sri Lanka’s other overnight batsman Dhananjaya De Silva couldn’t add much to his account as his brief stay ended soon after he reached his 6th Test fifty on day 4. He fell to Zimbabwe’s most impressive bowler of the match, debutant pacer Victor Nyauchi, trying to up the scoring rate and ending up giving a catch mid-on.
One of Sri Lanka’s busiest batsmen, Niroshan Dickwella then joined Mathews following the Mathews-De Silva 98-run stand and added 136 runs for the 6th wicket, taking almost 45 overs. The slow scoring was a feature in the entire Lankan innings. Even with Zimbabwe having batted for more than 5 sessions, favorites to win the game, Sri Lanka showed zero urgency in scoring and pushing for a win. The wicket too didn’t show any major signs of becoming difficult for batting despite early predictions of breaking up to assist the spinners.
However, Zimbabwean part-time spinner Sikandar Raza then came into the act claiming 3 wickets. After trapping Dickwella in front of the stumps for 63 he dismissed Suranga Lakmal and Lasith Embuldeniya with consecutive deliveries. Lakmal was trying to add some impetus to the innings with an energetic knock of 27 which included 2 sixes while Embuldeniya played the wrong line in his very first delivery.
Zimbabwe’s new opening pair of Prince Masvaure and Kevin Kasuza’s concussion substitute (Kasuza was ruled out of the Test due to concussion), debutant Brian Mudzinganyama looked very cautious as they came out to bat in the last hour after Sri Lanka’s declaration following Mathews’ 200.
The Lankan bowlers will have to try extremely hard if they are to take 10 wickets tomorrow. However, irrespective of the result, this game will be remembered in Sri Lanka cricket’s folklore for a landmark knock by one of Sri Lanka’s greatest Test batsmen, Angelo Mathews.
515/9 (176.2) & 14/0 (3)
358/10 (148) & 170/10 (92)
Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets
Updated at 10:18 AM 2020-01-28
c Dimuth Karunaratne b Lasith Embuldeniya
lbw b Lahiru Kumara
b Suranga Lakmal
lbw b Suranga Lakmal
c Niroshan Dickwella b Lasith Embuldeniya
st Niroshan Dickwella b Lasith Embuldeniya
c Angelo Mathews b Lasith Embuldeniya
b Lasith Embuldeniya
c Kusal Mendis b Lahiru Kumara
c Lakshan Sandakan b Suranga Lakmal
6 (b 0 , lb 4 , nb 2, w 0, pen 0)
358/10 (148 Overs, RR: 2.42)
Fall of Wickets
1-96 (50.1) Prince Masvaure, 2-164 (75.3) Kevin Kasuza, 3-208 (91.5) Brendan Taylor, 4-247 (106.3) Sean Williams, 5-247 (107.2) Craig Ervine, 6-266 (114.2) Regis Chakabva, 7-307 (128.4) Sikandar Raza, 8-309 (130.1) Kyle Jarvis, 9-328 (139.1) Ainsley Ndlovu, 10-358 (147.6) Victor Nyauchi,