Raza ton puts Zimbabwe on course in Colombo

July 14  Zimbabwe were 344/8 at stumps on the opening day of the first test against Sri Lanka at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday. Craig Ervine was batting on 151 and Tiripano on 24 when umpires called off the day's play

July 14 Zimbabwe were 344/8 at stumps on the opening day of the first test against Sri Lanka at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday. Craig Ervine was batting on 151 and Tiripano on 24 when umpires called off the day's play

Zimbabwe lead by 63 runs after scoring 356 and then restricting Sri Lanka to 293-7 on day two of the first Test in Colombo.

Several Sri Lankans got starts in response, but none went on further than Upul Tharanga's 71, which ended when he was run out at the non-striker's end by a Dinesh Chandimal drive deflected on to the stumps by bowler Tiripano. Tharanga and fellow opener Dimuth Karunaratne compiled an opening stand of 84 for Sri Lanka.

Raza's 144-run partnership with Malcolm Waller (68) was the highlight of the Zimbabwe innings after the duo resumed play on the team's overnight score of 252-6.

The touring side, who also won their maiden one-day global series against Sri Lanka which finished last week, reached 252-6 in their second innings at the close of play for an overall lead of 262 runs.

Gunaratne, who came down the batting order at number eight after sustaining a hamstring injury while fielding, put up sturdy resistence in the final few overs of the day.

The hosts, who suffered a shock defeat in the preceding one-day series against the minnows, still require another 332 to win with all their wickets intact.

As Ervine (151 not out) held one end, Sikandar Raza (36) looked positive at the other end, hitting two boundaries and a six.

For the host's left-arm spinner Rangana Herath took his tally to 11 wickets in the match as he finished with figures of 6-133.

Day 4 of the one-off Test between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe took another interesting turn as Kusal Mendis scored a fluent half-century to keep Sri Lanka's hopes of chasing a record 388 alive.

Chandimal replaced Angelo Mathews as skipper after the all-rounder stepped down following a humiliating one-day global series loss to Zimbabwe this week.

The Zimbabwe skipper ousted Suranga Lakmal (14) and the injured Asela Gunaratne (45) to finish with 5-125, after Herath had been stumped off Sean Williams for 22 to end an eighth-wicket stand of 48. His knock included nine fours and a six.

Herath stars with the ball by taking his 30th five-wicket hall.