Monday, 25 September, 2017

Craig Ervine bats Zimbabwe to safety in one-off test v Sri Lanka

Chandimal, Mathews steady after quick strikes Zimbabwe restrict Sri Lanka in Test
Ben Pena | 15 July, 2017, 10:31

Craig Ervine hit his second Test century as Zimbabwe piled on 344 for eight against Sri Lanka in Colombo.

Opting to bat first on a flat pitch, the visitors were reduced to 78 for four.

Herath sent back openers Regis Chakabva for 12 and Hamilton Masakadza for 19 trudging back to the pavilion as Zimbabwe took lunch at 96-4. The visitors then needed a partnership to put things back on the track, and that is what Ervine along with Sikandar Raza did. The duo put together 26 runs to try and steady Zimbabwe. Towards the end of the day's play, Ervine had solid stands with the lower order and his unbeaten partnership with Donald Tiripano remains the team's best ninth-wicket stand against the hosts in a Test match.

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Ervine, whose surpassed his career-best score of 146, finished on 151 off 238 balls, which included 13 boundaries and a six, while Tiripano remained undefeated on 24 off 45 deliveries, which included four boundaries. Zimbabwe would have hoped they could frustrate Sri Lanka for a while longer, but Tripiano became Herath's fifth victim when he tried to reverse sweep the left-arm spinner.

But left-handed Ervine, who hit his second test hundred, compiled two half-century partnerships with Sikandar Raza (36) and Malcolm Waller (36) to lead the fightback for Zimbabwe, who beat Sri Lanka 3-2 in the recent one-day worldwide series.

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