Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) President, Thilanga Sumathipala was elated at Sri Lanka beating Zimbabwe in the first Test at Harare and stated, “I am most pleased at the consistency of effort that our team is showing. The right foundation of science, technology and human effort will always bring this sort of result. My heartiest congratulations go out to Rangana and his men and not forgetting Ford and rest of the support staff.”
Veteran Herath is the first bowler to lead the National side in 33 years and has fully justified Sri Lanka Cricket’s faith in him, not only in captaining the team to victory, but by doing so as the first Sri Lankan captain to win his maiden Test match, the SLC release states.
But it did not come easily as Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer and number ten batsman Carl Mumba put up a grim display of defence to delay victory for Sri Lanka.
When the last hour began, Zimbabwe needed to bat out 15 overs with Cremer on 41 and Mumba on 3.
Then came the time to break through after four overs when Cremer had a rush of blood and stepped out of the crease in an injudicious attempt to play against the spin of Herath. He was stumped out for a dogged 43 runs. He faced 175 balls and 121 dots during his patient knock.
Nineteen balls later, Dilruwan Perera knocked out the off stump of Mpofu to wrap up Zimbabwe for 186 runs and hand them defeat in their 100th Test match on home soil.
Sri Lanka won by 225 runs, and it gave an auspicious start to Rangana Herath’s captaincy in his maiden Test.
Sri Lanka: 537 (Kusal Perera 110, Tharanga 110, Cremer 4-142) and 247 for 6 dec. (Karunaratne 110, de Silva 64, Mumba 4-50)
Zimbabwe: 373 (Cremer 102, Moor 79, Lakmal 3-69, Herath 3-97) and 186 (Cremer 43, Dilruwan 3-34, Herath 3-38)