By the end of the second day, Zimbabwe racked up 126 runs losing two wickets. The team, in its first inning, was chasing the score of 504 posed by Sri Lanka bating for a day and a half. The host faced a striking attack from Sri Lanka that made them to lose the opening wickets in an early over. Rangana Herath came out as the hero of the over removing the top batsmen in a space of two balls. The bowler, who is also the stand in Captain for Sri Lanka trapped Tino Mawoyo with an lbw. Hamilton Masakadza was caught by De Silva at the slip as he tried to nick the delivery. Zimbabwe was at 17 for 2 after 6th over wobble.
The inning later recovered well under Brian Chari and Craig Ervine. There was an excellent tandem between the two wickets that played steady to build up a pressure on Sri Lanka. The only set back in the inning was at 26, when Chari survived a strong appeal. The third wicket partnership brought the chase out of troubled waters with an unbeaten 109 run stand. By the end of the day, both scored 60 each, losing a little time. They maintained a fine strike rate of 100 and 92 keeping on the match alive.Still, Sri Lanka is on lead not only with runs but also in attacking the batsmen.
Chari's survival came out as the strong bet for Zimbabwe. Umpire Ian Gould decided to put off the batsmen on an lbw appeal. But after being reviewed under the newly implemented DRS, his on-field decision was overturned. Chari also survived another appeal and the decision by umpire Simon Fry. In the instance, the system showed in replays that the ball was missing the stumps. The DRS emerged as a life saver for the player and ultimately the team.
Chari shot the deliveries from Herath aggressively just after arriving at the crease. The strike became moderate as the player settled down along with Ervine on the other end. For Chari, it was his maiden international test and the player stood up well for his iconic stance. Ervine struck Herath with conventional shots hitting boundaries occasionally. The inning gained a sheer momentum under the players hinting a high score like Sri Lanka's.
The visitor's inning was powered by centuries from Dhananjaya de Silva and Asela Gunaratne, scoring 127 and 116 respectively. The challenging 500 plus target came up in a similar fashion after the top order slog of the visitors. Sri Lanka too lost its opening wickets early in the over and the inning was steered by the middle order. With the ongoing campaign by Zimbabwe batsmen, even the high score might emerge out as a winning bet for the host. The third day play will be pivotal for Zimbabwe.
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