Un­de­feated De Silva puts S Lanka in charge

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

HARARE: An un­beaten cen­tury from Dhanan­jaya de Silva put Sri Lanka in con­trol of the sec­ond and fi­nal Test against Zim­babwe af­ter a fluc­tu­at­ing first day at Harare Sports Club yes­ter­day. De Silva came to the wicket with Sri Lanka strug­gling on 112 for four af­ter they had lost the toss and been asked to bat, but showed greater ap­pli­ca­tion than Sri Lanka’s top or­der as he hit his sec­ond Test cen­tury in just his fifth match. The right-han­der added a cru­cial 143 for the fifth wicket with Upul Tha­ranga be­fore fin­ish­ing un­beaten on 100, as the tourists closed the day on 290 for five.

“I knew I needed to bat through the in­nings,” De Silva said af­ter­wards. “Play­ing un­der pres­sure is my role, so it made me com­fort­able.” Zim­babwe won the toss and elected to bowl first on a pitch boast­ing a tinge of green, but had a chaotic first hour with the ball. Fast bowler Carl Mumba limped off the field af­ter the first over, and seam­ers Chris Mpofu and Don­ald Tiri­pano were way­ward in their open­ing spells as Sri Lanka pro­gressed to 62 with­out loss.

The break­through came from an un­likely source, as part-timer Hamil­ton Masakadza made an early en­try to the at­tack and Dimuth Karunaratne guided an in­nocu­ous de­liv­ery straight to gully to de­part for 26. Masakadza then struck in his next over when Kusal Per­era’s de­ci­sion to at­tack the seamer from the start of his in­nings back­fired hor­ri­bly, as he holed out to long-on. Mumba was able to re­turn to the field soon af­ter, but it was fel­low fast bowler Mpofu who struck be­fore lunch when he trapped Kaushal Silva lbw for 37. Al­though Silva asked for a re­view, he took too long to do so and so his re­quest was de­nied. Hawk-Eye showed that the de­liv­ery from Mpofu would have missed leg stump. Sri Lanka went to lunch on 105 for three, and were in trou­ble soon af­ter the in­ter­val when Kusal Mendis edged Don­ald Tiri­pano be­hind to de­part for 26. At 112 for four, Sri Lanka were un­der pres­sure for the first time in the se­ries but Tha­ranga and De Silva were un­per­turbed. The pair were con­tent to take a pa­tient ap­proach as the pitch flat­tened out and Zim­babwe tight­ened up their bowl­ing, see­ing Sri Lanka through to tea on 187 for four.

“We started off badly in the first ses­sion, but I think we pulled it back quite nicely as the day wore on,” said Masakadza. “We would have been hap­pier with one or two more wick­ets, but I

think af­ter the start that we had, we’ll take it.” Tha­ranga fell for 79 in the fi­nal ses­sion, as he be­came the first player to be given out on re­view in Zim­babwe, with the third um­pire de­ter­min­ing that he had edged a de­liv­ery from legspin­ner Graeme Cre­mer.

— AP

HARARE: Sri Lanka bats­man Dhanan­jaya de Silva cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing 100 runs dur­ing the test cricket match against Zim­babwe at Harare Sports Club in Harare, yes­ter­day. Zim­babwe is play­ing its 100th test cricket match as it hosts Sri Lanka in Zim­babwe.

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