Colombo: Zimbabwe, riding high on Craig Ervine’s unbeaten 151, post a record 344/8 on Day 1 of the one-off Test in Colombo on Friday.
This is the best ever score by Zimbabwe in a single day’s play of a Test match. After winning the toss, the visitors were in a spot of bother as they lost the top-order cheaply.
Ervine however stood solid at one end and had crucial partnerships with Sikander Raza and Malcolm Waller.
Both Waller and Raza hit fifties. Towards the end of the day’s play, Ervine had solid stands with the lower order and his unbeaten partnership with Donald Tiripano remains the team’s best ninth-wicket stand against the hosts in a Test match.
Ervine's unbeaten 151 lifted Zimbabwe from a precarious 70-4 after Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath took four wickets to hurt the visitors.
Ervine built a few crucial partnerships including a 84-run fifth-wicket stand with Raza (36) to improve on Zimbabwe's position after they elected to bat first.
Herath, who returned with figures of 4-106 in the first two sessions, provided early delight for new Test captain Dinesh Chandimal after he lost the toss.
Herath sent back openers Regis Chakabva for 12 and Hamilton Masakadza for 19 trudging back to the pavilion as Zimbabwe took lunch at 96-4.
The 39-year-old Herath, who also got the dangerous Raza trapped lbw, was ably supported by the rest of the bowlers. Lahiru Kumara, Asela Gunaratne and Dilruwan Perera took a wicket each.
Zimbabwe - 344 for 8 (Ervine 151*, Herath 4-116)