About the Match
The new-look Zimbabwean team appeared to do things correctly before succumbing to the pressure in the final session. The two team now meet at the same venue, Harare Sports Club, on 6th November for the 2nd Test. Rangana Herath's stint as a captain started off beautifully as he led his team to a massive victory by 225 runs. Although the difference looks humungous, Zimbabweans were just 45 balls shy of securing a draw. Coming into the second test, despite a loss Zimbabwe will be a confident unit, as their performance exceeded the levels what was expected of them. If they are able to solve some of the errors they committed in the first test, they can give the visitors a tough time.
The hosts had their moments in the field and had they held onto those, the result might have been very different than what it was in the first Test. Skipper Graeme Cremer led the team from the front as he picked four wickets in the first innings. His batting was instrumental in avoiding follow-on as well as he scored a century ably supported by Moor and an important cameo from Donald Tiripano.
In the second innings as well he soaked up all the pressure and consumed 171 deliveries for his 43. Sean Williams batted well for his 40, but the team folded 7-overs less than scheduled close of play resulting in a loss. Zimbabwean bowling improved considerably in the second innings which was assisted by some poor shots by visitors' batsmen and better conditions for bowling. All in all, this Zimbabwean team did reasonably well which wasn't actually enough. If this team plays to its potential in the upcoming match, Sri Lanka will have a job to do.
Just like the hosts, Sri Lanka was led by a skipper leading for the first time in Test Cricket. Only the fortunes were different. Rangana Herath was handed the captaincy after Matthews was ruled out of entire series due to multiple injuries in the leg and he responded to the responsibility in the best way possible. Sri Lanka scored a big total of 527 runs in the first innings, thanks to the brilliant centuries from Kusal Perera and Upul Tharanga.
Karunaratne and Dhananjaya de Silva played well in the second innings as they scored 110 and 64 before Sri Lanka declared their innings. Bowlers did their part after the hosts were set a target of 412. Sri Lankans have been playing well since their home series against Australia. They'd be looking to carry this momentum forward and take the winning streak forward with a win in next match.
Although Zimbabwe challenged Sri Lankans and game them a tough fight, they never really looked ahead in the game. Looking at the team on paper and recent results, Sri Lanka looks well set to repeat their performance of first game and take the series