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Herath, Perera lead Sri Lanka to crushing win against Zimbabwe

  • Published at 09:56 pm November 2nd, 2016
  • Last updated at 09:05 am November 3rd, 2016
Herath, Perera lead Sri Lanka to crushing win against Zimbabwe
Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera took three wickets apiece to break Zimbabwe’s resistance and secure a 225-run victory for Sri Lanka in the first Test at Harare Sports Club on Wednesday. After declaring on their overnight total of 247 for six to set Zimbabwe 412 for victory on the final day, Sri Lanka were under threat of being held to a draw as Graeme Cremer once again proved to be the thorn in their side with his stubborn 43. But Herath finished with figures of 3 for 38, which included the key wickets of Cremer and Sean Williams, and Perera took 3 for 34 as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 186 with just 7.3 overs left in the game. A rollercoaster of a final day began with Zimbabwe making a strong start to their innings, as openers Tino Mawoyo and Brian Chari saw off the new ball. Even after Chari was bowled in Lahiru Kumara’s first over to depart for 10, Mawoyo found solid support from Hamilton Masakadza as the pair batted for almost an hour. However a poor umpiring decision changed the complexion of the game, as Mawoyo was given out lbw to Perera by umpire Simon Fry, with replays showing that the ball was comfortably missing leg stump. The DRS review system was not used in this match although will be operating in the second Test in Harare from Sunday. Mawoyo’s departure for 37 sparked a heavy collapse, as Zimbabwe fell from 68 for one to 74 for five in the space of four overs. Perera trapped Craig Ervine lbw in his next over, and in the following over Lakmal dismissed both Masakadza, for 20, and Malcolm Waller. With another decision going against Zimbabwe after lunch, when Peter Moor was given out lbw by umpire Ian Gould to a Kumara delivery that was bouncing over the stumps, the end was in sight for the hosts. But Williams was joined by Cremer, whose unbeaten century headlined the Zimbabwe first innings, and the pair saw the hosts through the next 80 minutes to the tea interval. Needing four wickets in the final session to wrap the game up, Herath stepped forward to have Williams caught at slip for 40 before trapping Donald Tiripano lbw. Yet Cremer fought on, taking his innings towards the three-hour mark and his score to 43. With less than 10 overs to go, the Zimbabwe captain had a rush of blood to the head and was stumped off the bowling of Herath. Mumba and Mpofu lasted a further three overs, before Perera sealed the game by bowling the latter for a duck, consigning Zimbabwe to defeat in their 100th Test. BRIEF SCORE: Sri Lanka 537 (Kusal Perera 110, Tharanga 110, Cremer 4-142) and 247 for 6 dec. (Karunaratne 110, de Silva 64, Mumba 4-50) beat Zimbabwe 373 (Cremer 102, Moor 79, Lakmal 3-69, Herath 3-97) and 186 (Cremer 43, Dilruwan 3-34, Herath 3-38) by 225 runs