A brilliant unbeaten century from Craig Ervine helped Zimbabwe to reach a solid total of 344/8 on the opening day of the lone Test against Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium on Friday. The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first on a flat pitch.
After losing their top-order cheaply, Zimbabweans were in a spot of bother at one stage at 78/4. However, Ervine (151*) held the one end solidly and knitted crucial partnerships with Sikander Raza (36) and Malcolm Waller (36) to pull his team out of hot waters. Towards the end of the day's play, the left-handed batsman stitched solid stands with the lower order to help his team past 300.
His unbeaten partnership with Donald Tiripano (24*) remains the team's best ninth-wicket stand against the hosts in a Test match.
Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers as he picked up four wickets for 106 runs in his 30 overs.
Asela Gunaratne scalped two wickets while Lahiru Kumara and Dilruwan Perera picked a wicket each.
(With Agency Inputs)