Zimbabwe reached 189 for 2 wickets by stumps of the opening day of the first test match on a flat Harare Sports Club grounds on Sunday. Openers Kevin Kasuza and Prince Masyaure struck half centuries on a placid pitch as Zimbabwe, back in to the Test cricket fold after over a one-year hiatus following an ICC related clamp down to do with the country’s administration, set out to prove a point that they were still in good fettle. However, it was drab batting by the hosts in a run crawl as the openers made sure they put up the runs on the board in a time consuming exercise.
After Zimbabwe opted to bat on winning the toss, Kevin Kasuza, top scored with 63 off 214 balls inclusive of 5 boundaries and a six, and Masyaure made 55 in what was a calculated start to the Zimbabwe innings as the Lankan pace attack bore no terrors. The opening partnership realised 96 runs off 50.1 overs which illustrated to what extent the two batsmen had slowed down the scoring. Kasuza was finally sent back by Lahiru Kumara late in the final session to reverse swing that saw the ball trap him plumb leg before wicket. Masvaure, whose 55 off 149 balls contained 7 boundaries in what was his maiden half century was, was dismissed by left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya who had him caught by skipper Dimuth Karunaratne at mid-off. His 149-ball knock contained 7 boundaries. The total was propped up by No.3 batsman Craig Ervine who was unbeaten on 55 off 116 balls having hit 3 boundaries and 3 sixes apiece. With him was B.R.M. Taylor on 13.
Zimbabwe 189 for 2 (84 Overs) Run rate: 2.25
(Kasuza 63, Ervine n.o. 55, Masvaure 55, Kumara 1/37)
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-