Rain and bad light during the latter half of day 4 in the 2nd Test between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka meant that play was cut short with Zimbabwe well ahead, leading by 354 runs.
Brendan Taylor, who was the man to turn the tables on Sri Lanka in the 1st innings, with a run-a-ball 62, did so once again, looking to score runs quickly in the first session of play, putting Sri Lanka under pressure as the hosts’ lead grew.
Lasith Embuldeniya gave Sri Lanka the start they wanted, dismissing overnight batsman Regis Chakabva within the 1st half hour, but Taylor, along with Prince Masvaure combined to put on 47 runs for the 3rd wicket before the latter was run-out. One wicket brought another as concussion substitute Timycen Maruma was dismissed short after, stumped off the bowling of Embuldeniya. Maruma replaced Kevin Kasuza, who was hit on the head while fielding close in yesterday; Kasuza was also subbed out in the first test in eerily similar circumstances.
Taylor batted on, going past the 50-run mark and carrying Zimbabwe’s lead towards 250 but an inswinger from Kumara trapped him in front of the stumps to give Sri Lanka a 5th wicket. Taylor indicated that he had hit the ball, but with no DRS available in the series, he was forced to leave the crease.
Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams scored some quick runs with a few loose deliveries being offered up by the Sri Lankan bowlers and by lunch the lead had swelled to 292.
The post lunch session was a frustrating one for Sri Lanka as Zimbabwe continued to milk the runs with the field well spread out. Raza and Williams added a crucial 70 runs to the total before Vishwa Fernando got Raza out LBW – replays showed the ball pitching outside the leg stump, but once again, with no DRS, there was no reprieve for Raza.
Williams kept going as he had in the 1st innings until bad light and eventually rain stopped play for good on day 4.
With a lead of 354 already in the bank, Zimbabwe could well be tempted to declare overnight, however, the fact that Sri Lanka chased down 390 the last time the two sides met prior to this series, would make them naturally a little more wary when setting the visitors a target.