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Kusal Mendis

Kusal Mendis century guides Sri Lanka to safety and series win

Zim v SL, 2nd Test, day five, report

Zimbabwe were unable to bowl Sri Lanka out on the final day of the second Test with Kusal Mendis providing the backbone of the Sri Lankan resistance to ensure the visitors took the series 1-0.


Resuming from their overnight 241/7, Zimbabwe batted just one ball before declaring. Captain Sean Williams despatched it for six to bring up his third Test fifty to go with a first-innings century.

With 361 to win and 96 overs left in the game, Sri Lanka immediately set out for the draw. Dimuth Karunaratne and Oshada Fernando put on 26 in a little over 13 overs before the former edged behind from the bowling of Carl Mumba for 12.

Fernando and Mendis held firm up to lunch though, with both men reaching the break unbeaten on 46. But straight after the break Zimbabwe got their breakthrough, with Sikandar Raza adding to his first innings seven-for. Fernando was the man to go as he failed to read the spin and was pinned on the pad, sent on his way for 47.

New batsman Angelo Mathews looked to bat time, and lasted 69 balls, and 89 minutes, for his 13 before Victor Nyauchi found him pushing a little too hard with a defensive prod. Craig Ervine at short mid-off completed the catch.

Mendis though remained defiant and went to tea with 80 runs to his name, accompanied by Dinesh Chandimal on three, leaving the hosts needing to take seven wickets in the final session.

There was no quick wicket after the break this time, with Mendis and Chandimal holding steady. Mendis brought up his seventh Test hundred with a towering six off Raza's off-spin, dancing down the track and sending it over long-on.

With nine scheduled overs left in the day, Zimbabwe accepted their fate and shook hands, sealing the draw. It also sealed a series win for Sri Lanka after their victory in the first Test. Sikandar Raza took the Player of the Match award for his seven wickets in Sri Lanka's first inning, while Angelo Mathews took the Player of the Series award having struck 277 runs across three innings in the series.

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