After a promising opening partnership by Dimuth Karunaratne and Oshada Fernando in reply to Zimbabwe’s mammoth 1st innings total of 406, Sri Lanka lost both set batsmen at the stumps of day 02, leaving them at 122/2 and still trailing by 284 runs.
Zimbabwe amassed an impressive 352 runs on day 01 as their skipper Sean Williams guided his team brilliantly with an authoritative century, leaving the Sri Lankan bowlers exhausted at Harare Sports Club.
On day 02, the overnight batsmen Regis Chakabva and Tinotenda Mutombodzi followed a defensive approach in the first hour to tackle the moving ball of Suranga Lakmal, but it did not come off as Embuldeniya struck from the other end. The pitch had already showed a few demons on just the 1st session of day 02, through several deliveries from the 23-year old left-arm spinner’s extraordinary spin off the surface, with Embuldeniya helping himself to another 4-wicket haul. Zimbabwe were bowled out for 406, presenting a huge challenge for the visitors.
Sri Lanka openers, Captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Oshada Fernando, had to come out to bat for a tricky 3-over spell before the conclusion of the 1st session. The pair remained unscathed to return back to the dressing room for Lunch.
The following session was all about Sri Lanka and their openers as the pair accumulated 88 runs, scoring at a healthy 3.00 rpo while punishing the Zimbabwean bowling attack at their will. Fernando was the aggressor of the partnership, though he slowed down in the latter part of his innings after the dismissal of Karunaratne. The pair scores 44 a piece in their 94 runs. partnership.
The next men in, Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews, survived the rest of the play, taking Sri Lanka to 122. Mendis’ stay was a bit tentative as he presented 2 chances in the last hour of the day, but was lucky to survive and remain unbeaten at 19. Mathews, who was the craftsman of 1st Test win with a double century, was assured as ever and had no worries in his 37-ball stay.
The Tea session was reduced to 21 overs because of bad light, as Sri Lanka were 284 runs behind Zimbabwe’s 1st innings total at the stumps of day 02. The play will begin half an hour early tomorrow to compensate for the overs lost on day 02.