Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka, 1st Test Day 4 Review: Rain intervenes as match tends towards a draw
Published - Nov 1, 2016 4:29 pm | Updated - Nov 1, 2016 4:29 pm
The fourth day of the Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka Test match saw Zimbabwe’s fightback short-lived as the fact that Dimuth Karunaratne went about shortening the odds of a Sri Lankan defeat even further. Rain made its divine intervention, forcing the umpires to take the call for stumps sooner, thus ensuring that there would be an endeavour to begin play early on the day.
The day began with the Sri Lankan openers taking a liking to the Zimbabwean pacers. Charles Mumba picked the first wicket of the morning when he dismissed Kaushal Silva by breaching his defenses for the first time in this ZIM v SL encounter.
However, in spite of the early setback, it was Dimuth Karunaratne who waded through the Zimbabwean pacers and spinners without giving them any allowance of a gasp. He smashed the ball at will and protected his partner at the other end.
The interesting aspect of the ordeal was the fact that the other batsmen in the Lankan batting order were finding it supremely difficult to face up to the bowlers on the day. In their partnership of over 50 runs, Kusal Perera had managed just the 17 runs, something not many are used to seeing from the southpaw.
Kusal Mendis, the prized scalp of the Zimbabweans was also sent back to the haven of the dressing room when a thick edge found its way to skipper Graeme Cremer at slip. This would perhaps be the first time that Mendis has been dismissed in such a fashion and to a nothing delivery from Charles Mumba.
Mumba however, was not done just yet. He was determined to dismiss the hero of the first innings for Sri Lanka. Upul Tharanga was a menace for the hosts in the first innings. In spite of bowling out the visitors, it was clear that he carried somewhat of an intimidation factor as far as he was concerned.
However, this time around, Mumba had a plan. Upul Tharanga drove away from the body and nicked behind. With Sri Lanka at 117 for 4, Zimbabwe sensed an opening, but the visitors slammed the doors on them.
Enter Dhanajaya de Silva. The 25-year old has been slamming on the doors for a call-up to arms, but, it was something of a taboo especially given the fact that he was a very aggressive batsman and someone content on playing the big shot at will.
This however, failed to unnerve the young Lankan batsman as he went on his way to achieving a massive score in the grand scheme of things. He slammed the ball to different parts of the ground. He brought up his half-century in trademark style when he completed the feat in just 65 balls.
The duo had added over a hundred runs for the fifth wicket, and the match had quite effectively slipped out of the hands of the hosts. Dimuth Krunaratne also brought up his ton, good riddance on the fact that he had been patient early on in his innings.
While Mumba removed the unnerving figure of de Silva, the figure of Karunaratne loomed large and threatened to take the match away from the Zimbabweans, making it four wins in a row. However, Donald Tiripano had other ideas when a slower delivery resulted in a simple catch for the homegrown pacer. At the close of play, the Lankans were on 247/6 and 411 runs ahead.
Sri Lanka, 1st innings: 537 all out
Zimbabwe, 1st innings: 373 all out
Sri Lanka, 2nd innings: 247/6 (D Karunaratne 110; C Mumba 4/50)