Raza 97 puts Zimbabwe on top

Zimbabwe batsman Sikandar Raza in action against Sri Lanka in the one-off Test cricket match in Colombo Sunday. — AFP

COLOMBO — Sikandar Raza hit a gritty 97 not out to help Zimbabwe recover from a top-order collapse and stretch its second innings lead over Sri Lanka to 262 in the one-off Test Sunday.

The visitors were 252 for six at stumps on day three, with Raza and Malcolm Waller (57) putting on an unbeaten 107-run stand for the seventh-wicket at Colombo’s R. Premadasa Stadium.

Raza lifted Zimbabwe from a precarious 23-4, followed by 59-5, after Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Rangana Herath rattled the visitors’ batting with four early wickets.

Herath, who got three wickets before the lunch break, bowled Sean Williams for 22 in the second session as Zimbabwe teetered dangerously close to losing their 10-run advantage.

It was then that Raza put together 86 runs with Peter Moor (40) for the sixth wicket to turn the tables on Sri Lanka. Moor fell to paceman Lahiru Kumara.

Raza, who registered his fifth Test fifty, used the sweep shot to great effect against the spinners as he found another partner in Waller to thwart the Sri Lankan bowling attack.

Earlier, skipper Graeme Cremer helped Zimbabwe take the lead after claiming his maiden five-wicket haul in a Test, helping bowl Sri Lanka for 346 in the morning session.

But it was Herath’s left-arm spin that undid the fine work from leg-spinner Cremer (5-125).

Herath, who registered his 30th Test five-wicket haul in the first innings, ran riot at the start of Zimabwe’s second essay to get the wickets of Hamilton Masakadza, Tarisai Musakanda and Regis Chakabva.

Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera joined forces to get the prized wicket of first-innings centurion Craig Ervine for five at the stroke of lunch.

While Sri Lanka looks for redemption under new Test captain Dinesh Chandimal after its shock loss in the one-day series against Zimbabwe, the visitors eye their first-ever Test win over the islanders.

Windies recall Roach

for England tour

Fast bowler Kemar Roach has been recalled to the West Indies squad for their three-Test tour of England starting next month, the selection panel said Saturday.

Roach, who has not played a test for 18 months, was chosen after displaying fine form in domestic competition, said chairman of selectors Courtney Browne.

Roach has played 37 Tests, taking 122 wickets at an average of 30.23.

Uncapped opening batsman Kyle Hope and left-handed all-rounder Raymon Reifer were also chosen in the 15-man squad.

But Darren Bravo has not been picked, despite his recent apology for calling Cricket West Indies president Dave Cameron a “big idiot” in a tweet following disagreement over his playing contract late last year.

The apology came too late for him to be considered.

Squad: Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Braithwaite (vice captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Kyle Hope, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Raymon Reifer and Kemar Roach. — AFP


Zimbabwe (1st innings) 356

Sri Lanka (1st innings)

D. Karunaratne c Masakadza b Tiripano 25

U. Tharanga run out (Tiripano) 71

K. Mendis c Chakabva b Cremer 11

D. Chandimal c Chakabva b Cremer 55

A. Mathews c Masakadza b Williams 41

N. Dickwella b Cremer 06

D. Perera run out 33

A. Gunaratne b Cremer 45

R. Herath st Chakabva b Williams 22

S. Lakmal c & b Cremer 14

L. Kumara not out 01

Extras (b8, lb10, w1, nb3) 22

Total (all out; 102.3 overs) 346

Falls: 1-84 (Karunaratne), 2-107 (Mendis), 3-116 (Tharanga), 4-212 (Chandimal), 5-226 (Dickwella), 6-238 (Mathews), 7-274 (Perera), 8-322 (Herath), 9-343 (Lakmal), 10-346 (Gunaratne).

Bowling: Mpofu 11-2-41-0 (w1); Tiripano 10-1-38-1; Raza 18-2-60-0; Cremer 39.3-4-125-5 (nb1); Waller 1-0-2-0, Williams 23-3-62-2 (nb2).

Zimbabwe (2nd innings)

H. Masakadza lbw b Herath 07

R. Chakabva b Herath 06

T. Musakanda c Karunaratne b Herath 00

C. Ervine c Karunaratne b Perera 05

S. Williams b Herath 22

S. Raza not out 97

P. Moor c sub (Gunathialka) b Kumara 40

M. Waller not out 57

Extras (b4, lb7, w6, nb1) 18

Total (6 wickets; 68 overs) 252

Still to bat: G. Cremer, C. Mpofu, D. Tiripano

Falls: 1-14 (Chakabva), 2-16 (Musakanda), 3-17 (Masakadza), 4-23 (Ervine), 5-59 (Williams), 6-145 (Moor).

Bowling: Lakmal 9-0-28-0; Herath 23-2-85-4; Perera 21-1-69-1; L. Kumara 11-3-43-1 (nb1, w2); K. Mendis 4-0-16-0.