Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Day 1 Review: Dhanajaya de Silva’s ton takes Sri Lanka to a comfortable position
Updated - Nov 6, 2016 4:07 pm
Sri Lanka finished on a satisfying 290/5, riding on the superb century from Dhananjaya de Silva and a half century from Upul Tharanga. After starting steadily, Sri Lanka lost steam in the middle overs before again gaining momentum.
After giving a commendable performance in the opening Test, Zimbabwean skipper Graeme Cremer chose to field first after winning the flip of the coin. The conditions in the morning were apt to bowl first as there was movement in the air and off the pitch. The Zimbabwean bowlers, although bit wayward sometimes, did an exceptional job and took benefit of the advantage of bowling first. They bowled tight lines and did not allow the top order to get going in the morning session. The effect was visible at the end of the first session which read 105/3.
However, Zimbabwe didn’t go on the top straightway. The new ball pair of Donald Tiripano and Chris Mpofu struggled for consistency initially despite all the help. Thus, giving away runs and easing off the pressure from the Sri Lankans. However, rescue came from unexpected quarters. Hamilton Masakadza, with his part-time seam, snapped opener Dimuth Karunaratne and No. 3 Kusal Perera, back to back over to provide the first two breakthroughs.
Dimuth habit of slashing the ball cost him his wicket when he cut a back of the length delivery straight into the hands of Williams at gully. An over later, Kusal Perera fell victim to his own aggression after he swiped a good length delivery straight into the hands of Mumbai at long –on. This double blow somewhat slowed the momentum.
Sri Lanka could add just 82 between lunch and tea while losing another big wicket of Kusal Mendis. As the day progressed, Tiripano stuck to a proper line and hit good length consitently. He got the reward for this in the second over just after lunch when Kusal Mendis poked at a delivery that deviated slightly off the seam to take the edge through to the wicketkeeper, leaving Sri Lanka 112 for 4.
But, after Mendis’ fall came the rescue act from Tharanga and De Silva. Tharanga, who hit a century in the first Test, was happy to grind the bowling. De Silva also resorted to the same tactics. Both struck singles and double laced with occasional boundaries to add life to the scoreboard. The pair weaved a string 143 wicket stand for the 5th wicket before Tharanga departed in the 51st over, falling to the leg spin of Cremer.
De Silva, however, batted unfazed and along with Asela Gunaratne ensured a safe end to the day. The stylish right-hander ended unbeaten on 100, having completed his century just 8 balls before the stumps was declared.
Sri Lanka 290/5 (Dhananjaya de Silva 100; Hamilton Masakadza 2/18)