Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe by 4-wickets to win the One Off Test between the two teams at the RP Stadium in Colombo in a dramatic finish to the contest on the fifth and final day. In the process they chased down 388 runs which is the largest fourth innings total chased in Sri Lanka and Asia as well. It is also Sri Lanka’s biggest chase in Test history and fifth in Test cricket. The win denied Zimbabwe what could have been a historic first Test win against Sri Lanka and they looked well on course to achieving that at close on Day 4.
The 121-run stand between Niroshan Dickwella and Asela Gunaratne proved to be the difference between the two sides in the end and it denied Zimbabwe from the win. Dickwella struck a career best 81 and Gunaratne powered 72 runs to dash Zimbabwe’s hopes despite what was a splendid spin bowling effort. Sikander Raza, Sean Williams and Graeme Cremer bowled the lion’s share of the overs for the visitors as Sri Lanka looked to be done in by their own asset going into the fifth day needing 218 runs to win with seven wickets in hand. Cremer finished with match-figures of 9/XXX to record second best bowling figures in the match behind Rangana Herath who picked up 11 wickets.
With 64 runs needed to the target, Dickwella perished in unlucky circumstances as he got a glove while attempting a reverse sweep. It brought Dilruwan Perera into the middle and the tailender didn’t perish under pressure and kept at it to work alongside Gunaratne and take Sri Lanka over the line.