Karunaratne ton edges Sri Lanka out of sight

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Dimuth Karunaratne’s fourth Test cen­tury helped Sri Lanka build a for­mi­da­ble lead be­fore rain thwarted their vic­tory push over Zim­babwe in the first Test on the fourth day at Harare Sports Club yes­ter­day.

Karunaratne backed up his half-cen­tury in the first in­nings with 110 in the sec­ond, which al­lowed Sri Lanka to progress to 247 for six when the rain ar­rived just 3.5 overs into the fi­nal ses­sion. With a lead of 411, the tourists would have hoped to de­clare and have a bowl at the Zim­bab­wean top or­der, but while the rain lasted less than an hour the light failed to im­prove and so no fur­ther play was pos­si­ble. The game will restart half an hour ear­lier on the fi­nal morn­ing, at 09:30am lo­cal time. “We have a whole day to­mor­row and we’ll give a good fight,” said Karunaratne.

The Zim­bab­weans were able to re­strict the Sri Lankan scor­ing early on the fourth morn­ing as the tourists re­sumed on five with­out loss, with fast bowler Carl Mumba bowl­ing Kaushal Silva in the sev­enth over of the day. But Karunaratne grad­u­ally opened up, and added 55 brisk runs for the sec­ond wicket with Kusal Per­era.

“It wasn’t easy to start with against the new ball this morn­ing, but once you get in you can play your nat­u­ral game on this wicket, which is what I did,” said Karunaratne.

“Af­ter the Aus­tralia series I played a cou­ple of A games against West Indies and scored a cou­ple of big scores, so I felt in good form be­fore this Test and had faith in my abil­ity.”

Al­though Per­era fell for 17 when he edged a de­liv­ery from Mal­colm Waller to slip, and Mumba dis­missed Kusal Mendis and Upul Tha­ranga either side of the lunch break, Karunaratne was able to main­tain a steady scor­ing rate with Dhanan­jaya de Silva, who made 64 in 82 de­liv­er­ies. Karunaratne was even­tu­ally caught and bowled by Chris Mpofu in the lead-up to tea, while De Silva be­came Mumba’s fourth vic­tim shortly af­ter the break, giv­ing the debu­tant fig­ures of 4 for 50. — AFP

HARARE: Zim­babwe’s cap­tain Graeme Cre­mer fields off his own bowl­ing dur­ing the fourth day of the test cricket match be­tween Sri Lanka and Zim­babwe at the Harare Sports Club in Harare, yes­ter­day. This is Zim­babwe’s 100th test match since their in­ter­na­tional de­but in 1992. — AFP

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