S Lanka’s Herath joins five-wicket Test elite

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Ran­gana Herath be­came just the third bowler to pick up five-wicket hauls against all nine Test op­po­nents to earn Sri Lanka a big firstin­nings lead be­fore Zim­babwe bounced back on the third day of the third Test at Harare Sports Club yes­ter­day. Herath recorded fig­ures of 5 for 89 — his first five-wicket haul against Zim­babwe-to bowl the home side out for 272 and give Sri Lanka a 232-run lead in the first in­nings.

But af­ter the tourists opted not to en­force the fol­low-on, fast bowler Carl Mumba picked up three wick­ets to re­duce Sri Lanka to 84 for four. With opener Dimuth Karunaratne scor­ing an un­beaten 54 — his third fifty-plus score in four in­nings-Sri Lanka went to stumps on 102 for four, giv­ing them an over­all lead of 334 with two days to play.

Al­though Herath had come into the se­ries with 26 five-wicket hauls in Test cricket, he had never played against Zim­babwe in a 17-year ca­reer. On Tues­day he joined coun­try­man Mut­tiah Mu­ralitha­ran and South Africa’s Dale Steyn among an elite group of bowlers with fivewicket hauls against all of the other nine Test­play­ing na­tions. “If you take my ca­reer un­til 2009, I had only taken about 40 wick­ets with no five-wicket hauls,” said Herath.

“So if you take the last seven or eight years, I’ve done a con­sis­tent job for the na­tional team. It’s a dif­fer­ent sort of achieve­ment, which makes me very happy.” Al­though Zim­babwe reached 134 for two on the third morn­ing in re­ply to Sri Lanka’s first in­nings to­tal of 504, they ul­ti­mately suc­cumbed to spin, with off­spin­ner Dil­ruwan Per­era pick­ing up 3 for 51 as the hosts lost their last five wick­ets for just 19 runs.

How­ever, it was fast bowler Su­ranga Lak­mal who set Sri Lanka on their way in the morn­ing ses­sion, which saw Zim­babwe re­sume on 126 for two, when he had Craig Ervine caught at slip for 64 in the eighth over of the day.

Herath got in on the ac­tion when he bowled Brian Chari for a ca­reer-best 80 with a quicker de­liv­ery, and then dis­missed Mal­colm Waller for 18 on the stroke of lunch.

Zim­babwe had been res­cued by their lower or­der in the first Test, but af­ter the in­ter­val Per­era en­sured there would be no such re­cov­ery as he grabbed three wick­ets in three overs, in­clud­ing Sean Wil­liams for 58 and Peter Moor for 33. All that was left was for the stand-in cap­tain to pick up a record fifth wicket, as he trapped Carl Mumba lbw.

Sri Lanka then tum­bled to 44 for three in their sec­ond in­nings, as Zim­babwe’s bowlers were re­warded for greater con­sis­tency. Mumba had Kaushal Silva and Kusal Mendis caught in front of the wicket, while Cre­mer trapped Upul Tha­ranga lbw.

First-in­nings cen­tu­rion Dhanan­jaya de Silva at­tempted to re­build with Karunaratne, but scooped a low full toss straight to ex­tra cover in the fi­nal half-hour of the day.

Nev­er­the­less, Zim­babwe faced a se­ri­ous deficit as they look to level the two-match se­ries. “Let’s be hon­est, if they put an­other 100 on it will be a lot,” said bat­ting coach Lance Klusener.

“But at the same time we’d like to fin­ish this Test match on our terms.” —AFP

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