At the end of day three of the second and final Test of the series against Sri Lanka, the hosts Zimbabwe have found them into the better position. The 33-year-old Sikandar Raza should get the most credit for it as his record bowling figures were the main reason for this situation.
The visitors Sri Lanka started the day three (29th January) on their overnight first innings score of 122/2. While Zimbabwe scored 406 runs in the first innings of this Test, the hosts were leading by 284 runs ahead of the day three.
Off-spinner Sikandar Raza, who took one wicket on last day, took two quick wickets on the day three. On this fresh day, he dismissed the overnight batsman Kusal Mendis (22) and also caught & bowled Dinesh Chandimal (6).
Once again, Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva tried to rescue Sri Lankan innings with a big partnership. They built up a crucial 84-run partnership for the fifth wicket, but just before the lunch break, Raza broke that partnership after dismissing Dhananjaya de Silva (42).
In the extended second session of the day, the hosts wrapped up the visitors’ innings for 293 runs. While once Sri Lanka were batting on 226/4, they lost last six wickets in just 67 runs. Angelo Mathews scored 64 runs while only Vishwa Fernando (38) was the other Sri Lankan of that day to reach the double-digit score.
Sikandar Raza picked up seven wickets
Sikandar Raza finished that innings with the bowling figures of 43-8-113-7. It was the second-best bowling figures by a Zimbabwe bowler in a Test innings. Their record is 51.5-12-109-8 by Paul Strang against New Zealand at Bulawayo in September 2020.
While captain Sean Williams scored 107 runs in the first innings of this match, Sikandar Raza was the second most run-scorer in that innings with 72 runs off 99 balls (4 fours and 2 sixes). Brendon Taylor (62) was the other half-centurion in that innings.
In their second innings of this Test, when Zimbabwe were batting on 62/1, rain interrupted the game. Later, the day was called off without restarting the game. At the stumps of the day, the hosts are leading by 175 runs.
Debutant opener Tinotenda Mutombodzi, the concussion substitute of injured-Kevin Kasuza, was batting on 26 runs with Regis Chakabva (14*) before the rain stopped the day’s play.