BY Kevin Mapasure
ZIMBABWE took two wickets to leave odds even following the second day of the second cricket Test against Sri Lanka as the tourists finished on 122 at stumps after bad light forced early stoppage with eight overs still to be bowled.
Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews will resume on 19 and 4 respectively as Sri Lanka look to eat into the deficit which stood at 284 overnight.
Zimbabwe seamer Donald Tiripano retained figures of 1 for 5 after bowling nine maidens in his 12 over spell.
Carl Mumba, who shared the new ball with Tiripano, bowled nine overs at the expense of 23 overs without a wicket while Victor Nyauchi was given 11 overs managing four maidens and conceding 17 runs.
Zimbabwe will be kicking themselves that the situation could have been a lot better for them after they fluffed two chances on the field.
Prince Masvaure spilled Kusal Mendis who had scored just one run with Sri Lanka’s total on 96 for 1 off the bowling of Sikanda Raza.
Tiripano, who was particularly efficient with the ball, somehow lost sight of the ball before it dropped just in front of him, again off the bowling of Raza.
It was Raza who had given Zimbabwe the breakthrough when he trapped Dimuth Kuranaratne lbw on 44.
94 for 1 became 104 for 2 after Tiripano was rewarded for his efforts, inducing an edge on Oshada Fernando (44) with keeper Chakabva taking the catch.
Earlier, Lasith Embuldeniya took three wickets in the morning session to help wrap up Zimbabwe’s first innings on 406 after they had resumed on an overnight score of 352 for 6.
Having struggled on the first day of the Test, Embuldeniya returned to hit back as he finished on 4 for 182.
Regis Chakabva was expected to take the leading role in pushing Zimbabwe’s score towards their minimum target of 450, but he fell on his overnight score of 31.
Tino Mutombodzi pushed on to make 33 runs while getting some assistance from the bottom three who offered some resistance till Zimbabwe were bowled just before the lunch break.
Mutombodzi was eventually trapped leg before by Dhananja de Silva and with his departure, Zimbabwe’s hopes of reaching their target disappeared.
Sri Lanka openers negotiated the first three overs in the first session with minimum fuss.
This morning the tourists will be looking to come out and work their way towards Zimbabwe’s total before they can think about building a lead of their own.
Zimbabwe will be encouraged by the chances they got yesterday and their target will be to try and put their guests under pressure with early wickets.