Sri Lanka's Kusal Mendis in action Action Images via Reuters / Lee Smith
HARARE (Reuters) – Kusal Mendis struck an unbeaten century when Sri Lanka fought a draw and 1-0 win on Friday, the fifth day of the second and final test against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club on Friday.
Zimbabwe had declared overnight for seven to 247 that Sri Lanka should set an unlikely goal of 361 in 98 overs, and 107 in one of the 39 overs could have given tourists a chance of a win.
But when it turned 140 for three, they gave up the chase and fought for the draw instead, finally reaching 204 for three.
Mendis was great for his 116 out of 233 balls, a seventh century of testing, first as an attacker in the chase and then for his stoic defense when it turned out that a tie was the best possible result for Sri Lanka.
The two games are not intended for test championship points because Zimbabwe, which was temporarily suspended from international cricket last year due to state interference, does not take part in the competition.
At the beginning of the second innings in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe made an early breakthrough when Sri Lanka's captain Dimuth Karunaratne (12) replaced sailor Carl Mumba to wicket keeper Regis Chakabva.
Mendis and opening player Oshada Fernando (47) rose to 24.3 overs 81 when Sri Lanka realized that there were still runs on the field before the latter got into the footsteps of outsider Sikandar Raza, who ended up with the best-performing characters from 8-176.
When dangerous Angelo Mathews (13) was caught by sailor Victor Nyauchi in the middle of Craig Ervine, the tables turned in favor of the hosts.
This was a sign of Sri Lanka closing the hatch, and Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal (13, not eliminated) made Sri Lanka leave Zimbabwe with the series win.
Reporting by Nick Said; Edited by Christian Radnedge