1st Janashakthi National Test: Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe at Colombo, 27 Dec 2001 - 1 Jan 2002
Charlie Austin

Zimbabwe 2nd innings: Day four: Morning drinks, Day four: Lunch, Day four: Afternoon drinks, Day four:Tea, Day four: Close,
Live Reports from previous days


It came slower than expected, as afternoon rain and some studied defense threatened to take the game into the final day, but Sri Lanka eventually triumphed to seal their six consecutive Test victory and take an early lead in this Janashakthi National Test series.

Zimbabwe, resuming today on 64 for two after a full moon holiday on Sunday, were bowled out for 236 in their second innings to lose by the comprehensive margin of an innings and 166 runs – Sri Lanka’s largest victory in their 19-year history.

After a 60 minute break for rain Sri Lanka were forced to work extremely hard for the remaining three wickets.

Thilan Samaraweera eventually broke a 32 run partnership between Craig Wishart (27) and Heath Streak when Wishart danced down the track and clipped lamely to Hashan Tillakaratne at mid-wicket (197 for eight).

Gary Brent then supported Streak for a further 51 minutes and with overcast skies, the prospect of play continuing into the final day loomed once again.

But Sri Lanka took the new ball and finally clinched victory 5.15pm. Brent (7) was caught at first slip by Jayasuriya and Henry Olonga was caught at the wicket for a second ball duck.


Just when Zimbabwean hopes looked to have evaporated a dark grey cloud sprung up on the horizon. Within minutes the players were running for cover as heavy rain interrupted play.

The players have taken an early tea, but they might also be finished for the day. The rain is heavy and the field was covered slowly by the disorganised groundstaff. Large pools of water can now been seen on the outfield and should the rain cease soon we can expect a minimum one hour delay.

Sri Lanka will not be panicking but they would be annoyed if the match stretches into the final day with only two days scheduled break before the second Test in Kandy.

During the second hour of the afternoon Sri Lanka spilt the last recognised pair of batsmen to leave the tail exposed.

Bur Heath Streak is far from a bunny and he continued where he left off in the first innings, giving Craig Wishart solid support for the 25 minutes before the rain.

At the interruption Zimbabwe were 184 for seven after 83.1 overs.


Zimbabwe lost one further wicket after the luncheon interval as night-watchman Travis Friend’s brave resistance was finally ended by an explosive off-spinner from Muttiah Muralitharan.

Mid-way through the afternoon Zimbabwe were 160 for six with their last recognised pair, Grant Flower (14*) and Craig Wishart (10*), at the crease.

After lunch Muralitharan opted to switch ends, from the Press Box to the Tennis Court End, and bowled around the wicket to Friend. The ploy was eventually successful as an off-break turned back through the gate, forcing its way past bat and pad onto the stumps (145 for six).

Grant Flower, unlucky in the first innings when he was fingered by umpire Peter Manuel, and Craig Wishart defended resolutely thereafter, as Sanath Jayasuriya slowly rotated his bowlers.


For Zimbabwe, the first hour was promising, but the second disastrous, as they lost three wickets, including that of Andy Flower, the batsman most capable of resisting Sri Lanka for two days.

As the players lunched, Zimbabwe were 125 for five, with night-watchman Travis Friend displaying impressive application on 36 and Grant Flower, new to the crease, yet to score.

Zimbabwean fortunes changed with the first ball bowled after the morning drinks break. Charitha Buddika Fernando, who had plugged away earnestly but without great threat, suddenly induced reckless shot from Stuart Carlisle (32), who tried to cut a ball to close to him and was caught behind (93 for three).

In his next over Fernando struck again, as the left-handed Gavin Rennie (4) edged into the slips, where Mahela Jayawardene scooped up the ball perilously close to the turf – Rennie walked but had the decision been referred to the third then it would have been difficult to give (105 for four).

Andy Flower (10) then started another defensive vigil, twice breaking out of his strokeless stupor to club off-side boundaries. All the while Friend was playing Muralitharan effectively with his long reach and limited ambitions.

But after 35 minutes Flower was finally dismissed, as he shuffled across his stumps to be trapped lbw by an ecstatic Nuwan Zoysa (127 for five).


Zimbabwean captain said his side would be taking it ‘hour by hour and session by session’ as they try to avert an apparently inevitable defeat at the Sinhalese Sports Club. Well, after the first hour of the fourth day, it’s a case of ‘so good so far.’

Zimbabwe survived the first hour of the morning without loss, going to the water break on 93 for two, with acting captain on 32 and nightwatchman Travis Friend on 18.

Sri Lanka opened the day with Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Zoysa but, apart from a flashing drive from Carlisle that whistled through the slips, the Zimbabwean pair looked relatively comfortable on a placid pitch.

So, Muttiah Muralitharan was introduced in the fifth over. The appeals increased in their frequency and, on 16, Friend looked extremely fortunate to survive an lbw shout when he shouldered arms to the off-spinners straight ball.

Then, after a five over burst, Vaas was replaced by fellow seamer Charitha Buddika from the Tennis Courts End.

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Date-stamped : 31 Dec2001 - 14:44