Ervine's highest Test score frustrates Sri Lanka in one-off Test

Sri Lanka team manager conceded the bowling attack looks less penetrative in the absence of the veteran left-arm spinner

Sri Lanka's plight was also made more hard by the hamstring injury picked up by Asela Gunaratne, while fielding in the morning. And at one stage, Sri Lanka had had them by the collar, at 59-5.

However, Upul Tharanga made 71 while Dinesh Chandimal hit 55 and skipper Angelo Mathews chipped in with 41 as the hosts closed in on the Zimbabwe total.

On day two Sri Lanka wrapped up the tail cheaply and started well with the bat only to implode with Graeme Cremer bowling well and Sri Lanka suffering from some poor decisions.

Tiripano's lucky fielding effort came after he got Zimbabwe's first breakthrough in Dimuth Karunaratne (25) in his first over after lunch, ending an 84-run opening partnership. "If these two guys are able to hang in there for one and a half hours we will get into an interesting position".

Sri Lanka ended the first day of the Colombo Test against Zimbabwe 63 runs adrift, with only three first-innings wickets in hand, and their own lead spinner has sounded out a warning: batting fourth on this track "won't be easy".

After Herath had wrapped up a 30th five-wicket haul in the morning, Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer took the lead spinners' baton, and finished the day with figures of 3 for 100 from 30 overs.

Cremer, who had got Kusal Mendis caught behind for 11 before tea, struck twice in the final session of play to put the hosts in trouble at 238-6.

Starting off the day on 252/6, Zimbabwe lost batsman Malcolm Waller early on as he was dismissed by Dilruwan Perera for 68 off 98 balls, which included eight boundaries. With wickets tumbling at one-end and the pitch slowing down giving sharp turn and bounce, it was all left to former skipper Mathews to bring some respectability to the innings.

Earlier, Zimbabwe was bowled out for 377 and Sikandar Raza top scored for the visitors with a brilliant 127. His knock included nine fours and a six.

Raza was the star of the show, though, keeping his composure after spending overnight on 97 not out and quickly securing a first Test ton with the second ball of the day.

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