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Twitter Reactions: Sikandar Raza’s spin-magic gives Zimbabwe upper-hand

Raza got a seven-wicket haul and broke the backbone of the Lankan batting.

Sikandar Raza
Sikandar Raza. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Day 3 well and truly belonged to Zimbabwe. At the Harare Sports Club, the hosts got Sri Lanka by the scruff of their necks. After the end of the third days’s play of the final Test, Zimbabwe are leading by a significant 175 runs with eight wickets left in their second innings. It was off-spinner Sikandar Raza, who wreaked havoc in the Lankan camp with a seven-wicket haul and gave his team the ascendancy.

Raza makes inroads

Kusal Mendis (22) and Angelo Mathews (64), the overnight batters, had a challenge ahead of them. But Raza removed the former to pick up the day’s first wicket. In his next over, the tweaker nipped out Dinesh Chandimal. Nevertheless, Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva (42) tried to restore sanity into proceedings. The duo put on 84 runs for the fifth wicket, but couldn’t carry on until Lunch.

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Raza castled De Silva to separate the pair before the Lankans went into the break at 226/5 in 87 overs. 12 balls into the second session, Raza trapped Niroshan Dickwella in front to notch a five-wicket haul. A few overs later, he got rid of Suranga Lakmal, who chipped one straight to short mid-on. At the other hand, Mathews was helplessly seeing wickets go down at a rather alarming rate.

Zimbabwe turn the screws

Mathews got to his half-century off 128 deliveries. After toiling hard for 238 minutes and 158 balls, the veteran fell prey to Carl Mumba. The pacer dug the ball short and Mathews was caught down the leg-side. At that point in time, the visitors were still trailing by 162 runs. Vishwa Fernando mitigated the damage to some extent, bringing down the trail to 113 runs with an 81-ball 38.

The Lankans were eventually shot out for 293. In their second innings, Zimbabwe didn’t have the most auspicious of starts. Vishwa Fernando found Craig Ervine’s outside-edge to strike first blood. However, from there on, Prince Masvaure (26*) and Regis Chakabva (14*) put their heads down and saw Zimbabwe through to the end. Yet again, it was rain that pulled the curtains down on play.

Here is how Twitterati lauded Raza and Zimbabwe: –

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