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Record-breaking Zimbabwe lay solid platform on opening day against Sri Lanka

Zim v SL, 1st Test, day one, report

Half-centuries from each of Zimbabwe’s top three ensured they had the better of the opening day of the first of two Tests against Sri Lanka at Harare.

Never before have all of Zimbabwe’s Nos.1-3 passed fifty in the same Test innings, and all showed excellent application against a disciplined Sri Lanka attack.

Masavure and Kasuza batted through the first session unscathed
Masavure and Kasuza batted through the first session unscathed

The inexperience of the opening pair will only have made their success all the sweeter. Prince Masavure only has two Test and two ODI caps to his name, but that’s four more than international debutant Kevin Kasuva. The pair played like two veterans however, keeping out the first 50 overs even as just 96 runs came.

From the first ball of the 51st over, Sri Lanka finally had a breakthrough, Lasith Embuldeniya enticing Masavure to come down the track, at which point he mishit an attempted loft and was caught diving forward by captain Dimuth Karunaratne, running in from mid-off.

Test cricket was returning to Zimbabwe for the first time since 2017
Test cricket was returning to Zimbabwe for the first time since 2017

That dismissal brought the experienced Craig Ervine to the crease, and he played with a little more impetus, scoring at closer to one run in every two balls rather than one run in every three. He and Kasuza put on a half-century stand for the second wicket before Kasuza fell, pinned in front by a Lahiru Kumara full toss.

Thereafter, Brendan Taylor helped Ervine bat out the overs until bad light brought an end to proceedings, capping off an overwhelmingly positive day for Zimbabwe in the first day of Test cricket the country has witnessed in over two years.

 

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