Dimuth Karunaratne scored his 10th Test half-century    Getty Images
Dimuth Karunaratne scored his 10th Test half-century Getty Images

Opener Dimuth Karunaratne enjoyed a welcome return to form as Sri Lanka extended their lead over Zimbabwe on the fourth morning of the first Test at Harare Sports Club on Tuesday. Karunaratne had not scored a Test fifty in his previous three Tests, but hit an unbeaten 65 as Sri Lanka advanced to 111 for three in their second innings, giving them an overall lead of 275. The Zimbabweans were able to restrict the Sri Lankan scoring early on as the tourists resumed on five without loss, with Carl Mumba bowling Kaushal Silva in the seventh over of the day. But Karunaratne gradually opened up, and added 55 brisk runs for the second wicket with Kusal Perera, who fell for 17 when he edged a delivery from Malcolm Waller to slip. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Zimbabwe vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test at Harare

As the field spread, Sri Lanka s momentum was sustained by Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis, until the latter perished off the final ball of the session as he was caught at mid-on for 19 off Mumba. Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer s unexpected Test century had headlined the third day s play, which saw Zimbabwe bowled out for 373 in response to Sri Lanka s first innings total of 537.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 111 for 3 (Dimuth Karunaratne 65*; Carl Mumba 2 for 28) and 537 (Kaushal Silva 94, Kusal Perera 110, Upul Tharanga 110; Graeme Cremer 4 for 142, Chris Mpofu 2 for 96) lead by 275 against Zimbabwe 373 (Tino Mawoyo 45, Peter Moor 79, Graeme Cremer 103*, Donald Tiripano 46; Suranga Lakmal 3 for 69, Rangana Herath 3 for 97)