Gunaratne, Dickwella help Lanka pull off record Test chase against Zimbabwe

Gunaratne, Dickwella help Lanka pull off record Test chase against Zimbabwe

Asela Gunaratne and Niroshan Dickwella stitched a crucial 121-run partnership as Sri Lanka chased down the record 388-run target to clinch a four-wicket win over Zimbabwe in one-off Test at the R Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday.

Resuming at yesterday?s score of 170-3 in their second innings, Sri Lanka needed another 218 runs to beat Zimbabwe, who recently clinched their maiden ODI series win against the hosts.

After losing two wickets early on the final day, Gunaratne and Dickwella put on a brilliant stand to bring the record chase back on track and leave a very little for the batsmen to follow.

While Dickwella (81) struck six boundaries in his knock but fell short of a well-deserved century, Gunaratne (80*) stayed on the crease right till the end to help his side cross the mark.

Dilruwan Perera also remained unbeaten at the crease at 29 runs in Lanka?s chase.

Earlier, opener Dimuth Karunaratne fell just one run short of half-century as he scored 49 runs besides sharing a 58-run stand with Upul Tharanga (27) to provide his side with an initial thrust in the second innings.

Kusal Mendis, who fought off hamstring trouble in the final session of the day, then steadied the hosts’ innings as he scored a 60-run knock, including six boundaries, and put together an unbeaten 37-run stand with skipper Angelo Mathews to take the one-off Test match into the final day.

For Zimbabwe, captain Graeme Cremer was the pick of the bowlers as he bagged four wickets in Sri Lanka’s second innings to add to his five-wicket haul in the first innings.

Sean Williams also chipped in with two wickets.

Another notable performance in the match was of Sikandar Raza, who struck his maiden Test century to guide Zimbabwe to 377 in their second innings after being reduced to 252-6.

Gunaratne was declared `Man of the Match` for his match-winning performance with the ball while Rangana Herath was declared `Man of the Series`.

This was Lanka?s highest ever successful chase and the fifth-highest of all time. Meanwhile, this is only third time in Tests that all four innings have been between 300 and 400.

Earlier, Sri Lanka’s highest-ever successful run chase was against South Africa in 2006, when they chased down a huge target of 353 runs in Colombo.

The Lankan tigers will next face India in the three-Test series, followed by five ODIs and a T20I.

-ANI

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