Sri Lanka in series sweep

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

IT took Sri Lanka a lit­tle over 50 min­utes to wrap up pro­ceed­ings on the fi­nal day in Harare. Re­sum­ing on 180 for 7, Zim­babwe folded for 233 to give Sri Lanka a 257-run win. Ran­gana Herath, in his first and per­haps last series as Sri Lanka cap­tain — he was stand­ing in for the injured An­gelo Mathews — cel­e­brated a 2-0 series win with his sev­enth ten-wicket haul in Tests. His match fig­ures of 13 for 152 took his series tally to 19 wick­ets.

Craig Ervine, who made a bat­tling half-cen­tury on the fourth day, stood be­tween Sri Lanka and an early fin­ish. In the first six overs, he seemed keen on play­ing ac­cord­ing to the merit of the ball. But the frus­tra­tion of be­ing un­able to get runs — Zim­babwe had just one scor­ing shot in the first 23 min­utes — re­sulted in him glov­ing an au­da­cious re­verse sweep from the rough off Herath to Dhanan­jaya de Silva at slip.

Dhanan­jaya, who was ini­tially mov­ing to his right in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the sweep go­ing a lot squarer, changed di­rec­tions and dived low to com­plete an ex­cel­lent twohanded catch. Ervine re­ferred the de­ci­sion, but it was even­tu­ally up­held as there was suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence of the ball brush­ing the glove be­fore hit­ting his fore­arm. Off the first ball of his next over, Herath had Carl Mumba with an arm ball that drifted back in to trap him in front.

Christo­pher Mpofu came out play­ing shots. A slog sweep over deep mid­wicket off Herath even had the dress­ing room in splits as he ac­knowl­edged the ap­plause by rais­ing his bat. He swung at every­thing there­after, but the party did not last much longer as Herath’s slider came back in to beat his for­ward push and trap him lbw.

This was Sri Lanka’s fifth suc­ces­sive Test win — they swept Aus­tralia 3-0 at home prior to this series — to equal their sec­ond-long­est win­ning streak in Tests. Their long­est is nine, which they achieved in 2000-2001. – ESPNCricinfo

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