During the one-off Test between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, the visitors were in command for first three days, but the hosts sealed the game in the last 4-5 sessions and one the Test in Colombo on Tuesday.
Chasing a huge target of 388 runs, Sri Lankan team showed some character with the help of a brilliant partnership between Niroshan Dickwella and Asela Gunaratne. They helped their team to successfully chase down the 5th highest target in Test history. This was also the third occurrence when all four innings of a Test were between 300 and 400. Zimbabwe came pretty close to register a fabulous win but was unable to capitalize on early breakthroughs they got.
During the post-match presentation, Zimbabwe skipper Graeme Cremer said, “Disappointing but credit to Sri Lanka, to chase 380 on a day-five pitch is pretty special. So credit to them, but credit to our guys as well. The way the guys fought and got the runs on the board and pushed Sri Lanka till the last day was great. We don’t play enough Test cricket, so it’s hard sometimes making decisions out there, but there is a lot to learn from this Test match. The one-day series is a high point for us, we brought that confidence into the Test match and it gave us the belief that we could push the big teams.”
New Test captain of Sri Lanka Dinesh Chandimal was happy to start his captaincy career with a hard-fought win and lauded the players for sticking to the plans. He said, “It’s been a really good five days, so credit goes to all the players, they stuck to the plans and went there and did their best. It’s always tough when you’re batting in the fourth innings but I told the team that they should play their normal game and they played some outstanding innings, especially Dickwella and Asela. Of course, it’s always challenging as a captain but it’s about doing the right things on and off the field.”
Sri Lanka will now play against India at home in the upcoming Test series and Chandimal felt it will be a tough challenge for them. He said, “It (series against India) is obviously a tough challenge for us. As a team, everyone does their best, and I hope they will do the same against India.”
Rangana Herath again stepped up his game for the team and was adjudged the Player of the series for his eleven-wicket haul. Talking about his performance, He said, “I know I have bowled a lot of overs, but when you still enjoy playing cricket, I wouldn’t mind bowling more in future. Good to hear that I went past those guys. Overall, this Test match was very good. They were playing sweeps and reverse sweeps, which made it hard for us. But we played better than Zimbabwe, that is why we are here.”