Zimbabwe Select v Sri Lanka A, Harare, 4th day October 19, 2007

Chibhabha century earns draw for Zimbabwe Select

Cricinfo staff



Chamu Chibhabha led Zimbabwe Select to safety © Craig Cossier

Sri Lanka A 426 and 206 for 5 dec (Kapugedera 58*, Warnapura 55) drew with Zimbabwe Select 313 and 221 for 3 (Chibhabha 103)

A century by Chamu Chibhabha earned Zimbabwe Select a well-deserved draw as they finished on 221 for 3, chasing a target of 317 in their four-day match against Sri Lanka A in Harare.

Chibhabha, whose previous highest was the 98 he scored against South Africa Academy in August, defied the Sri Lankan bowling for more than three hours and hit ten fours and two sixes as he led a much improved batting performance.

The Zimbabweans did not look in trouble at any stage as their openers Vusi Sibanda and Brendan Taylor got them off to a confident start. Chibhabha came in when Taylor was trapped in front by Nuwan Kulasekara and stayed til the end - the match was called off after his dismissal with 40 minutes play remaining as both captains agreed a draw was the likely result.

Former captain Tatenda Taibu provided able assistance to Chibhabha with an unbeaten 39. Sri Lankan captain Tillakaratne Dilshan hoped his spinners could exploit the fourth-day pitch and gave them the majority of the overs but they were unable to get the desired results.

The Sri Lankans, boosted by half-centuries from their overnight batsmen Malinda Warnapura and Chamara Kapugedera, had declared at 203 for 5 after scoring nearly a hundred runs in the first hour.

The two sides face each other in the second and final four-day game, in Bulawayo, starting October 22 before contesting a three-match one-day series.

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