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Sri Lanka left with uphill task as Zimbabwe eye historic win on final day

Kusal Mendis looked good for Sri Lanka on day four
Kusal Mendis looked good for Sri Lanka on day four

Zimbabwe 356 & 377 (Raza 127) v
Sri Lanka 346 & 170-3 (Mendis 60no)
Only Test, Colombo, day four

A fighting unbeaten 60 run knock from Kusal Mendis has given some hope for Sri Lanka as they are left with 218 more runs to win on the final day with seven wickets in hand in the Only Test against Zimbabwe in Colombo.

Needing a massive target of 388 runs to win, Sri Lanka openers Dimuth Karunaratne (49) and Upul Tharanga (27) started the innings positively scoring 56 runs in the 18 overs of play before the end of the second session.

However, in the second over of the final session, Graeme Cremer (2-67) had Tharanga caught at short leg to provide the opening for Zimbabwe.

Mendis (60 not out) looked good from the outset but Karunaratne became edge and was even handed a reprieve when he was dropped in the 30th. He failed to make use of the opportunity as he was castled by Sean Williams (1-62) few overs later.

Dinesh Chandimal (15) too failed to carry on as he became the second victim of Cremer, leaving the hosts reeling at 133 for three.

Despite batting cramps, Mendis managed to see the day through along with Angelo Mathews (17 not out) as the duo added an unbeaten 37 run stand for the fourth wicket to take Sri Lanka to 170 for three. They will be needing another 218 runs to win on the final day with seven wickets in hand.

Earlier, Zimbabwe resumed their second innings at 252 for six.In the first over of the day, Sikandar Raza (127) completed his maiden Test century but his 144 run stand with Malcolm Waller (68) came to an end when the latter was dismissed by Dilruwan Perera (3-95).

Even though, Raza fell shortly after bringing the 300-run lead, contributions from Cremer (48) and Tiripano (19) ensured Zimbabwe posted 377 runs on the board before they were bowled out in the second session.

© Cricket World 2017