Herath spins Sri Lanka to­wards Zim­babwe sweep

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

HARARE:

Ran­gana Herath reg­is­tered his sec­ond five-wicket haul in as many days as Sri Lanka closed in on vic­tory in the sec­ond Test against Zim­babwe at Harare Sports Club yes­ter­day.

Herath fol­lowed up his five-wicket haul in the first in­nings with 5 for 45 in the sec­ond as Zim­babwe, set 491 to win, went to stumps on the fourth evening on 180 for seven.

While Herath’s 5 for 89 on Tues­day had made him just the third bowler to take fivewicket hauls against all nine Test op­po­nents, on Wed­nes­day he be­came the first bowler to take 50 wick­ets in the cur­rent cal­en­dar year, hav­ing done so in just eight Tests.

“He’s bowled re­ally well. It’s very rare to see him bowl a loose ball, which is his strength,” said Sri Lanka batsman Dimuth Karunaratne.

“The wicket is two-paced and has some un­even bounce, and he’s been bowl­ing wicket-to-wicket, which is the key.” The tourists be­gan the fourth day on 102 for four in their sec­ond in­nings, with an over­all lead of 334, and spent the first half of the day ex­tend­ing that ad­van­tage. With first in­nings cen­tu­rion Karunaratne an­chor­ing the in­nings with a pa­tient 88 and Kusal Per­era adding a quick­fire 62 to­wards the end, Sri Lanka were able to de­clare their sec­ond in­nings on 258 for nine to set Zim­babwe 491 to win.

Al­though they were un­able to claim 20 wick­ets for an eighth straight Test match, Zim­babwe’s bowlers man­aged to slow Sri Lanka’s scor­ing in the first ses­sion, then picked up wick­ets when the vis­i­tors went on the at­tack af­ter lunch.

Leg-spin­ner Graeme Cre­mer fin­ished with fig­ures of 4 for 91 af­ter tak­ing three late wick­ets, while fast bowler Carl Mumba took 3 for 67. “There was a lot of pres­sure be­fore we came into the day,” said Zim­babwe batsman Sean Wil­liams.

“I think we were re­ally good with the bal­lour bowlers came back well. “But then with the bat, se­nior play­ers such as my­self are get­ting starts and not fin­ish­ing.”

Left with 136 overs to bat in or­der to save the match, Zim­babwe saw Brian Chari bowled by Herath in the eighth over of their in­nings, be­fore the left-arm spin­ner trapped Hamil­ton Masakadza lbw in his next over.

Af­ter tea, Herath struck again, hav­ing Tino Ma­woyo caught at slip, be­fore Wil­liams and Craig Ervine bat­tled back with a 74-run stand for the fourth wicket.

The pair counter-at­tacked to good ef­fect, but were even­tu­ally sep­a­rated when Wil­liams edged a de­liv­ery from Lahiru Ku­mara to slip to de­part for 45.

Mal­colm Waller fell for a duck in the very next over, be­fore Herath snapped up two more quick wick­ets late in the day, com­plet­ing the sev­enth 10-wicket match haul of his ca­reer. Ervine bat­ted through to reach the close of play on 65 not out, but will only have tail-en­ders for com­pany on the fi­nal day. “Craig is bat­ting well, but we’ll work on their other bats­men to try and pick up the last three wick­ets as soon as pos­si­ble,” said Karunaratne. — AFP

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