Kusal Mendis remained unbeaten at 60 © AFP
Kusal Mendis remained unbeaten at 60 © AFP

Sri Lanka‘s top-order put up an impressive performance on the fourth day, in a quest of Zimbabwe’s 387 runs in the only Test at Colombo. After openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Upul Tharanga managed to remain unbeaten till tea, Karunaratne continued his good work in the third session. Along with him, Kusal Mendis’ unbeaten 60 strengthened Sri Lanka furthermore to remain in the hunt to get the needed runs on the final day to win the match. At stumps of fourth day, Sri Lanka have 170 for 3 on the board and still need 218 runs to win. Live cricket scorecard: Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe, One-off Test

Sri Lanka, after starting off strongly, lost their first wicket right after lunch. It was skipper Graeme Cremer who removed Upul Tharanga for 27. Tharanga edged one to Peter Moor at short-leg. Mendis joined Karunaratne at the crease and built up the next partnership. The batsmen had an attacking mindset which was clear from the way they were batting. Karunaratne and Mendis built up a 50-run partnership which can be called a quick one compared to Test standards. However, Karunaratne remained unlucky to remain short of 1 run to get to his half-century, getting out to Sean Williams. Williams’ delivery was one of the most astounding ones as it turned unbelievably in to get Karunaratne bowled.

Sri Lanka, at this stage, lost two quick wickets as skipper Dinesh Chandimal could not play a big knock, departing for a 17-ball 15. He edged one Cremer delivery to Hamilton Masakadza at slip.

Angelo Mathews opened his account with an edged four. He, along with Mendis, formed the next big partnership of the day. Runs mostly came in singles and doubles except a six from Mathews and a four from Mendis. The two brought up 150 for the team. At stumps on fourth day, Mathews remained unbeaten on 17 with Mendis on 60, building an unbeaten 37-run partnership.

Brief scores

Zimbabwe 356 and 377 (Sikandar Raza 127, Peter Moor 40, Malcolm Waller 68, Graeme Cremer 48; Rangana Herath 6 for 133, Dilruwan Perera 3 for 95) lead Sri Lanka 346 and 170 for 3 (Dimuth Karunaratne 49, Kusal Mendis 60; Graeme Cremer 2 for 67, Sean Williams 1 for 62) by 218 runs.