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Zimbabwe vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test at Harare, , Oct 29 2016 - Ball by Ball Commentary

1st Test, Harare, October 29 - November 02, 2016, Sri Lanka tour of Zimbabwe
537 & 247/6d
(T:412) 373 & 186

Sri Lanka won by 225 runs

Player Of The Match
4/142, 102* & 43
ZIM 2nd Innings
Full commentary

What a match to mark Zimbabwe's centenary Test! We hope you enjoyed our coverage of this match. I certainly enjoyed bringing it to you. Elsewhere, in Sharjah, there is another thriller going on with West Indies closing in on a memorable win against Pakistan, and a thrilling final day awaits. Hope to see you then. Cheers!

Simbarashe: "The result is bittersweet for Zimbabwe. Great fight but a miss is as good as a mile. When you fight like that you have come through! Well done to both teams. I thoroughly enjoyed this match!"

Rangana Herath - Not at all, actually. It was difficult in the first session as there was nothing happening on this surface. At the end, we did get some help from the pitch for the fast bowlers. We had a plan because we cannot rely on the weather, so we had a plan and we stuck to it. You never know what time the weather would intervene. Captaincy was a new experience and I enjoyed every moment of it. So far, I have really enjoyed every moment of it, and hopefully, it will be the same in future.

Graeme Cremer is the Man of the Match

Graeme Cremer - "Yeah, definitely upset that we couldn't last the couple of overs. But to last that long was good for Test cricket and lot of positives to take from it. Sri Lanka is a quality unit, but just happy to score some runs for the team when they were in a bit of trouble. Very tough, I thought it (batting) was a lot tougher today. They were bowling well."

What a final day! Zimbabwe fought valiantly till the very end. Not many might have imagined that they would last well into the final hour at the start of the Test. But they did, and it made for some riveting Test match cricket, contrary to what is indicated by the 225-run margin of Sri Lanka's win, which doesn't really paint the whole picture of how valiantly Zimbabwe fought. And it was their captain Graeme Cremer who led the way with a rearguard century in the first innings and again top-scoring with 43 in the second after walking out to a tough situation. Zimbabwe were on the receiving end of a few umpiring blunders. But for those harsh decisions, who knows what could have happened?

Perera to Mpofu, OUT

oh, bowled him! And that is the end of a stoic resistance from Zimbabwe. Coming to the delivery, it was on a length and on off stump channel. Mpofu presses forward but plays down the wrong line, keeps his bat inside the line and the ball spins back in to take out his off-stump

Chris Mpofu b Perera 0 (8b 0x4 0x6 12m) SR: 0
Perera to Mpofu, no run

waits in the crease and dabs it wide of forward short leg

Perera to Mpofu, no run

flat ball that keeps low after landing on a length, fends it off to midwicket

end of over 90Maiden
ZIM: 186/9CRR: 2.06 
Carl Mumba10 (62b 1x4)
Chris Mpofu0 (5b)
Rangana Herath 30-13-38-3
Suranga Lakmal 24-6-43-2
Herath to Mumba, no run

floated up slower and fuller, defended into the off side, inside-out

Herath to Mumba, no run

length ball pitching on leg stump, keeps his pad out of the way to defend to silly point

The light's just beginning to fade now as Herath goes over the wicket

Herath to Mumba, no run

another slider. This one's looped up, pitching outside off. Stretches out to defend and gets another inside edge into the leg side

Herath to Mumba, no run

length ball outside off, left alone

Herath to Mumba, no run

ooh, the slider, going on towards middle and off. Mumba's pad is almost in the way but he somehow brings his bat out in front of it, just in the nick of time, to inside-edge into the leg side

Herath to Mumba, no run

full on middle, defended back to the bowler

end of over 893 runs
ZIM: 186/9CRR: 2.08 
Chris Mpofu0 (5b)
Carl Mumba10 (56b 1x4)
Suranga Lakmal 24-6-43-2
Rangana Herath 29-12-38-3
Lakmal to Mpofu, no run

ooh, excellent delivery, angling in from wider of the crease, nice and full, and it was lbw, hitting middle stump, had Mpofu not managed to jam his bat down and get an inside-edge on it, through backward square leg

Lakmal to Mumba, 3 runs

low full-toss on off stump, pushed into the vacant mid-off region and they pick up three, leaving Mpofu on strike for the last ball of the over

Lakmal to Mumba, no run

shortish, fourth-stump line, jumps across to defend with an open face towards backward point

Lakmal to Mumba, no run

length ball on middle stump, defended back down the pitch, good stride forward and head over the ball

Saahil Sharma: "Graeme Cremer's determination and courageous batting reminds me of Daniel Vettori playing a similar role for NZ. Vettori was a classic example of a bowler punching way above their weight with their batting."

Lakmal to Mumba, no run

full outswinger, too wide of off to make Mumba play

Lakmal to Mumba, no run

length ball sliding down leg. Mumba looks to flick, doesn't get any bat on it

end of over 88Wicket maiden
ZIM: 183/9CRR: 2.07 
Chris Mpofu0 (4b)
Carl Mumba7 (51b 1x4)
Rangana Herath 29-12-38-3
Suranga Lakmal 23-6-40-2
Herath to Mpofu, no run

floated up on leg stump, defended towards mid-on

Herath to Mpofu, no run

length ball on off stump, blocked firmly to silly point

Herath to Mpofu, no run

full on off stump, gets forward to smother it

Herath to Mpofu, no run

teasingly tossed up on off stump, and he pushes his bat a long way in front of his pad to defend into the covers

10.4 overs remain as Christopher Mpofu joins his new-ball partner at the crease. Just one wicket to get for Sri Lanka.

Herath to Cremer, OUT

oh my, what has Graeme Cremer done? He's batted so well, so solidly, across two innings, resisted everything Sri Lanka have thrown at him, and now he steps out to Rangana Herath and gets out to a rather unwise shot. Looks to work him across the line, against the turn, from outside off stump, but Herath's flight is too deceptive for him. Dips, doesn't turn as much as he expects, and goes through the gap between bat and pad, leaving Kusal Perera to do the rest

Graeme Cremer st †MDKJ Perera b Herath 43 (144b 5x4 0x6 175m) SR: 29.86
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