Visitors Zimbabwe rode on Craig Ervine’s emphatic knock of unbeaten 151 runs on Day 1 to score 344/8 at stumps in one-off Test match against Sri Lanka. After winning the toss, Graeme Cremer opted to bat first but the visitors made a disappointing start. Zimbabwe first lost Regis Chakabva for 12 after he was cleaned up by Rangana Hearth when the team score read 23. In-form Hamilton Masakadza was also sent back by Herath when Mendis at short leg grabbed a brilliant low catch.
The misery didn’t stop for Cremer’s side as they lost Musakanda for 6 and were reduced to 3/38. Ervine along with Sean Williams added 32 runs for the fourth wicket but Williams’ dismissal pushed Zimbabwe on the backfoot.
The Cremer-led side did made a recovery as Sikandar Raza chipped in with 36 and stitched a partnership of 74 runs with Ervine. Raza was later trapped in front of the wickets by Herath. Wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals for Zimbabwe but the left-handed Ervine stood strong at the other end to guide his side to a record total. This is the highest total by Zimbabwe in a single day of a Test match.
The visiting team were 282/8 when Donald Tripano came out to bat. The tail-end batsman scored valuable 24 runs and more importantly remained unbeaten. Tripano and Ervine put on record partnership of 62 runs. This is the highest ninth wicket stand for Zimbabwe in the longest format.
Left-arm spinner Herath was among the wickets as he spun the web to bag four wickets in the process while Asela Gunaratne scalped a couple of wickets that included wicket-keeper batsman Peter Moor and skipper Cremer.