Rangana Herath celebrates after taking a wicket on Sunday © AFP
Rangana Herath celebrates after taking a wicket on Sunday © AFP

Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer’s 5-for rattled Sri Lanka as the hosts were bundled for 346 on Day Three of the only Test at Colombo. On Sunday, Sri Lanka’s Asela Gunaratne resumed batting with Rangana Herath, at 293 for 7. However, the tail failed to gather the 64 runs they required clear the deficit. They instead handed Zimbabwe a 10-run lead. Cremer bagged 2 wickets in the first session, while Sean Williams picked up one. Live cricket scorecard: Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe, One-off Test

It was declared that Gunaratne, who had picked up a hamstring injury on Day Two, will not bowl in the match. However, he came out to bat with Herath. They started off slow and steady, taking singles more often. However, Gunaratne did not look very comfortable. It took them 7 overs to hit the first boundary of the day, which came off Herath’s bat. Williams kept on bowling in the right areas, once getting a nod for an lbw appeal, but the decision was challenged as Herath’s successful review showed the ball missing the stumps. Herath, however, was stumped the very next ball for 22. Wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva removed the bails in his third attempt.

Following Herath’s departure, Sri Lanka lost yet another wicket as Cremer got Suranga Lakmal caught and bowled. Cremer was able to produce good turn and Lakmal, beaten by the turn, lobbed one back to the bowler.

After Lakmal’s wicket, Gunaratne could not stick around for long as he exposed his stumps and got bowled for 45.

But Sri Lanka made a brilliant comeback with the ball. It was their dependable Herath, who cleaned the top-order, along with Dilruwan Perera to reduce Zimbabwe to 23 for 4. Hearth’s first breakthrough, just like the first innings, was Chakabva, who did not expect as much turn to be produced by the new ball and played along the trajectory, just to get bowled for 6 in the fourth over of the innings. A couple of overs later, Herath got outside edge off Tarisai Musakanda that landed in the hands of Dimuth Karunaratne at slip.

Hamilton Masakadza was the next one to depart a couple of overs later for 7, given lbw. Masakadza challenged the decision only to find there was no glove involved in his attempted sweep and the ball hit him in the pads in front of off-stump.

A big wicket was that of Craig Ervine’s, who hit a magnificent 160 in the first innings, could barely last 11 deliveries at the crease, edging one Perera delivery to Karunaratne at slip, departing for 5. Zimbabwe’s hopes now lie on Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza to form the first big partnership of the innings under a lot of pressure.

A total of 7 wickets fell in the lunch session of Day Three, all wickets taken by spinners.

Brief scores:

Zimbabwe 356 and 23 for 4 (Hamilton Masakadza 7, Regis Chakabva 6; Rangana Herath 3 for 7, Dilruwan Perera 1 for 5) lead Sri Lanka 346 (Upul Tharanga 71, Dinesh Chandimal 55, Angelo Mathews 41, Asela Gunaratne 45;  Graeme Cremer 5 for 125, Sean Williams 2 for 62) by 33 runs.