Sean Williams scored only his second Test century as Zimbabwe made a strong start in their quest to save the series with Sri Lanka.

The hosts lost the first match of the two-game series in Harare by 10 wickets but reached stumps on day one of the second at the same venue on 352-6.

It had looked as if it would be a difficult day for Zimbabwe when they were reduced to 49-2 inside the first 20 overs.

However, Brendan Taylor, who went for a run-a-ball 62, led a recovery effort alongside Kevin Kasuza (38), but it was Williams' partnership with Sikandar Raza that turned the tide.

Williams and Raza (72) put on 159 for the fifth wicket before the latter was removed by Lasith Embuldeniya (1-153), who endured an otherwise dreadful day with the ball.

There was no stopping Williams from reaching his hundred, which was brought up in 131 balls with a sweep through the gap between fine leg and deep square leg for four.

He faced six more deliveries before he was dismissed for 107 by Dhananjaya de Silva having struck 10 fours and three sixes, but Regis Chakabva (31 not out) and Tinotenda Mutombodzi (10no) are well set to push Zimbabwe past 400.

Suranga Lakmal's early final-day burst set Sri Lanka on their way to a 10-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the first Test at Harare Sports Club.

Zimbabwe resumed on 30 without loss on the last day of a slow-moving match, trailing by 127 after Sri Lanka racked up 515-5 declared.

The outstanding Lakmal (4-27) set the nerves jangling by taking three early wickets before Zimbabwe collapsed from 120-3 to 170 all out.

That left Sri Lanka requiring only 14 to win in the final hour and they needed just three overs to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series, captain Dimuth Karunaratne hitting the winning run.

The tourists had failed to make inroads in 17 overs after Karunaratne declared in the final session on day four, but Lakmal came steaming in to give them just the start they had hoped for on Thursday.

The paceman had Prince Masvaure (17) caught behind off the eighth ball of the day and removed Brian Mudzinganyama (16) in his next over before Craig Ervine (7) became his third victim, caught by Karunaratne at short leg.

Brendan Taylor (38) and captain Sean Williams put on 79 for the fourth wicket, seeing off 22 overs before the former became a pumped up Lakmal's fourth victim.

Zimbabwe were reeling on 152-6 at tea with Williams (39) and Sikandar Raza (17) gone and they folded in the final session, Lahiru Kumara coming to the fore by taking 3-32.

Karunaratne made 10 not out and Oshada Fernando was unbeaten on four when his skipper got Sri Lanka over the line.

 

 

Angelo Mathews struck a brilliant maiden international double-century to give Sri Lanka a healthy lead on day four of the first Test against Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club.

Mathews spent 10 hours at the crease to make an imperious unbeaten 200 with support from Dhananjaya de Silva and Niroshan Dickwella, who each made 63 in the tourists' 515-9 declared.

Sri Lanka will resume on the final day looking to make quick inroads with the ball after Zimbabwe reached stumps on 30 without loss, trailing by 127.

Mathews had waited since December 2018 to reach three figures in the longest format, but brought up his 10th Test century early on the penultimate day after Sri Lanka resumed on 295-4.

Dhananjaya had a sixth Test half-century when he went through for a single after being struck on the glove by a Donald Tiripano, but a fifth-wicket stand of 98 ended when he drove Victor Nyauchi (3-69) to Prince Masvaure at mid-on.

That was the only wicket to fall in the morning session and the Zimbabwe bowlers endured more frustration after lunch as Mathews, dropped by wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva on 108, and Dickwella increased the lead.

Dickwella was put down by Sean Ervine on 45 and struck only three boundaries in his 15th Test half-century before being trapped lbw by Sikandar Raza, halting a stand of 126.

Raza (3-62) saw the back of Suranga Lakmal and Lasith Embuldeniya in consecutive deliveries, but Mathews went on to become the first Sri Lankan man for five years to score a Test double-hundred.

Kasun Rajitha's dismissal prompted Dimuth Karunaratne to declare, but Sri Lanka were unable to end the day on a high note as Masvaure and Brian Mudzinganyama saw Zimbabwe through to the close unscathed.

Half-centuries from Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis put Sri Lanka on top in the first Test and Zimbabwe debutant Kevin Kasuza suffered a nasty blow on the head on day three at Harare Sports Club.

Kusal made 80 and Mathews was unbeaten on 92 when the tourists closed on 295-4 in reply to Zimbabwe's 358 all out on Tuesday, trailing by only 63 runs.

Victor Nyauchi (2-38) claimed his first two international wickets but it was not such a memorable day for another man making his Zimbabwe bow.

Kasuza was struck on the helmet by a pull from Kusal and sustained soft tissue injury to the skull, but the batsman's concussion test showed up as negative and a CT scan ruled out any internal damage.

Dimuth Karunaratne (37) was caught by Ainsley Ndlovu at midwicket off Nyauchi and that was the only wicket to fall in a morning session that ended with Sri Lanka 124-2, with Kasuza absent after being struck in the last over before lunch.

Kusal brought up an 11th Test half-century before dispatching Sikandar Raza for three consecutive fours as Mathews dug in at the other end.

Nyauchi had Kusal caught by Brendan Taylor at first slip to end a third-wicket stand of 92 and Sri Lanka were 227-4 when Dinesh Chandimal was caught and bowled by Sean Williams.

They were unable to dislodge Mathews, though, and the former captain was rewarded for his patience with a sixth Test half-century after slapping Ndlovu over midwicket for six before launching Williams over the rope.

Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva (42 not out) had put on 68 for the sixth wicket to put Sri Lanka in a promising position when stumps were drawn.

Zimbabwe ended day two of the first Test with Sri Lanka in a strong position despite a five-wicket haul for Lasith Embuldeniya at Harare Sports Club.

The hosts, playing their first home Test since 2017, finished day one on 189-2 thanks to half centuries from Prince Masvaure, Kevin Kasuza and Craig Ervine.

Ervine was eventually dismissed for 85 on Monday when Suranga Lakmal (3-53) got one to nip back in and clatter the stumps. 

Embuldeniya led the way for Sri Lanka with 5-114 as they continued to make inroads, but Sikandar Raza (41) and Donald Tiripano (41 not out) helped Zimbabwe to 358 all out.

Captain Dimuth Karunaratne (12 not out) and Oshada Fernando made a promising start in reply for the tourists, but Tiripano's fine day continued when he cleaned up the latter for 21.

Tiripano extracted the same movement Lakmal exploited by flattening Fernando's off stump, Kusal Mendis (6 not out) saw Sri Lanka through to 42-1 - trailing by 316 runs - along with his skipper when bad light brought play to a close.

Day three is set to start at 09:54 local time following that earlier finish.

Craig Ervine demonstrated his liking for Sri Lankan bowling as he helped Zimbabwe enjoy the best of day one in Harare, where a two-Test series got under way on Sunday.

The 34-year-old achieved his highest Test score against the Sri Lankans in Colombo back in July 2017, when his 160 in the first innings was overshadowed by a sensational run chase by the hosts.

In that high-tempo match, Sri Lanka were set 388 for victory and reached the target with four wickets in hand, but this was very different Test cricket, with a pedestrian run rate seeing Zimbabwe take baby steps to 189-2 in 84 overs.

This was the home side's first Test action since November 2018, and a first at home since a year previous to that.

Openers Prince Masvaure and Kevin Kasuza made 55 and 63 respectively to set a solid platform, their stand of 96 spanning 50.1 overs, with left-hander Ervine stepping up the pace slightly on his way to 55 not out by stumps, striking three sixes along the way.

The trio claimed a slice of history - it was the first time Zimbabwe's top three have all scored fifties in the same innings of a Test.

Ervine was unbeaten alongside Brendan Taylor (13 not out) at the end of the day.

Sri Lanka are looking for a lift after losing in Pakistan last month, while Zimbabwe are impeded in this series by the lost of paceman Tendai Chatara to a bicep injury.

Zimbabwe and Nepal have been readmitted by the ICC after suspensions for political interference were lifted.

The world governing body stripped Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) of full member status in July after state-owned enterprise the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) suspended the board.

SRC acted after issuing a directive that the governing body's elective annual general meeting would be suspended amid allegations over the nomination process and the violation of ZC's constitution, along with "various other controversies".

The ICC has now cleared Zimbabwe to regain member status following board meetings in Dubai.

Zimbabwe will be able to feature in the ICC Men's Under-19 Cricket World Cup in January and compete in the ICC Super League next year.

ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said: "I would like to thank the Zimbabwe Sports Minister for her commitment to the reinstatement of Zimbabwe Cricket.

"Her desire to work in support of Zimbabwe Cricket was clear and she has unconditionally complied with the conditions set down by the ICC Board. Funding to Zimbabwe Cricket will continue to be on a controlled basis as part of a collective effort behind getting the game in Zimbabwe back on an even keel."

Nepal has also been added as members on a conditional basis three years after they were suspended for breach of the ICC regulations that prohibit government interference and require free and fair elections.

Manohar added: "Given the progress made in Nepal, a transition plan will now be developed for the Cricket Association of Nepal to support full compliance with Associate Membership criteria, which will also involve controlled funding."

Hamilton Masakadza bowed out of international cricket in style on Friday, striking 71 from 42 balls to help Zimbabwe to a Twenty20 victory over Afghanistan in Chattogram.

Zimbabwe's hopes of qualifying for the final of a tri-series also involving Bangladesh had already been wiped out by three successive defeats, but they at least ended the tournament on a high as skipper Masakadza produced a wonderful final innings for his country.

Having walked out to a guard of honour after Afghanistan posted 155-8, the 36-year-old thumped five sixes and four fours in his entertaining knock, underpinning a seven-wicket win completed with three balls unused.

Masakadza ended his international career, which began in 2001, having played in 38 Tests, 209 ODIs and 66 T20s, scoring 9,543 runs for his country in all formats. His tally of 1,662 in T20s is almost double that of any other Zimbabwean.

On his 32nd birthday, Regis Chakabva played second fiddle to his captain in a second-wicket stand of 70 before accelerating to 39 from 32 deliveries, while Sean Williams (21 not out) finished the chase off having been dropped by Mujeeb Ur Rahman immediately after Chakabva fell at the start of the 18th over with just 17 runs needed.

Afghanistan, who will face Bangladesh in the final, started brightly after winning the toss, openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Hazratullah Zazai contributing 61 and 31 respectively.

However, they crucially lost momentum in the second half of their innings as Chris Mpofu finished with 4-30.

Mahmudullah hit 62 from 41 balls as Bangladesh clinched a 39-run victory over Zimbabwe in Chattogram and secured their place in the T20 international tri-series final.

The all-rounder's knock helped Bangladesh post 175-7, after they had been inserted by Zimbabwe, and included five sixes.

Mahmudullah had support from wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim (32), while opener Liton Das had earlier got the hosts of to a fine start with a 22-ball 38.

Kyle Jarvis finished as the pick of the Zimbabwe attack with 3-32 while fellow seamer Chris Mpofu’s two wickets came at the expense of 42 runs.

Zimbabwe's reply quickly hit the buffers. They were reduced to 8-3 before captain Hamilton Masakadza (25) steadied the ship.

He was one of only two batsmen in Zimbabwe's top six to make double figures as Mohammad Saifuddin (1-14), Shakib Al Hasan (1-28) and Shafiul Islam (3-36) impressed.

Richmond Mutumbami blasted 54 off 32 balls from number seven while Jarvis made a quickfire 27 as Zimbabwe's innings at least finished with a flourish. 

However, Mustafizur Rahman polished off the tail with 2-38 as Zimbabwe, winless in the tournament, were bowled out for 136.

Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi combined for seven consecutive sixes as Afghanistan cruised to a 28-run T20I tri-series victory over Zimbabwe.

A day after losing to Bangladesh in a close opening match of the tournament, Zimbabwe's defeat this time always looked likely as they had no answer to some big Afghanistan hitting in Dhaka.

After Afghanistan posted 197-5, Zimbabwe only managed 169-7 and never looked like reaching the target.

Zadran fired a career-best 69 not out from 30 balls in an innings that included six maximums, while Nabi hit 38 from 18 as part of a 107-run fifth-wicket partnership that proved decisive.

The standout period of that double act, which saw Afghanistan surge from 90-4 to their final total, came in the 17th and 18th overs.

Nabi smashed four consecutive maximums off the bowling of Tendai Chatara (2-53), before Zadran started the next over with three sixes in a row against a hapless Neville Madziva, whose wicket-less three overs went for 34.

After a wide, Zadran thought he had an eighth straight six only for a video review to reveal his shot over point had dropped just inside the rope.

Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz's 43 had earlier set the foundations, his effort ending when the impressive Sean Williams (2-16) trapped him lbw.

Zimbabwe's chase was doomed as soon as they lost two wickets in three balls to conclude the fourth over, Fareed Ahmad (2-35) ending the innings of Brendan Taylor (27) before removing Williams for a duck.

With captain Hamilton Masakadza (3) having already been run out, Zimbabwe were 30-3 and forced to consolidate, with Regis Chakabva's flamboyant 42 not out coming too late in the day as Rashid Khan claimed 2-29.

Hosts Bangladesh take on Afghanistan in the third match of the tri-series on Sunday, looking to avenge a Test defeat this week.

Afif Hossain blasted a rapid half-century to ensure Bangladesh edged to a three-wicket Twenty20 win over Zimbabwe.

Afif put on 82 with Mosaddek Hossain, who made an impact with both bat and ball, to lead Bangladesh home to their target of 145 in an 18-over game in Dhaka on Friday.

Rain delayed the start of the opening game of the tri-series, which also includes Afghanistan, and Shakib Al Hasan opted to bowl after winning the toss.

Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza, in his final series before retirement, made 34 but his team needed Ryan Burl to smash an unbeaten 57 off 32 balls in an unbroken partnership with Tinotenda Mutombodzi (27) worth 81 to finish on 144-5.

Mosaddek's excellent figures of 1-10 off three overs helped restrict Zimbabwe's scoring and he returned to make 30 not out after the hosts had slipped to 29-4 when star man Shakib fell for one.

Sensational hitting from Afif, the 19-year-old smashing eight fours and a six in his 26-ball knock in just his second international appearance, put Bangladesh in the box seat after he came in at 60-6.

He was out in the 18th over to end the alliance but Mohammad Saifuddin (6 not out) finished the job with two balls to spare.

The series continues on Saturday when Zimbabwe take on Afghanistan.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls still have work to do to avoid their lowest finish at the vitality Netball World Cup since 1967 even after a convincing 77-47 thrashing of Zimbabwe on Friday.

The Sunshine Girls campaign has been bitterly disappointing. Coming off the heels of their first-ever top-two world ranking, they have failed to finish among the top four for the first time in 24 years, but still fielded a strong team to lead the first quarter 23-15.

The Jamaicans would continue to have a big first half after running out to a 24-9 to end the stanza 47-24 leaders.

The Jamaicans took their foot off the gas and Zimbabwe duly took advantage in the third quarter, winning the period 14-12, but that never got them close enough to make a push in the final of the four periods.

At 59-38 heading into the fourth quarter, the game was over, but Jamaica were tired of the competition and pressed home their advantage with a  flourish, winning the final stage 18-9.

Romelda Aiken was still not at her accurate best, scoring 27 goals for Jamaica from 35 attempts, while Rebekah Robinson had 16 from 21, starting from goal attack.

For the Sunshine Girls, skipper Jhaniele Fowler-Reid was perfect, scoring 16 goals from the same number of events.

Shanice Beckford scored 18 from 21 attempts.

The four enjoyed marginally better results than the Zimbabwe shooters, for whom Joice Takaidza had 21 goals from 26 attempts. Sharon Bwanali had six from seven attempts, while Pauline Jani was perfect, scoring 18.

Ursula Ndlovu scored two from three attempts.

The result meant, the World Cup debutants, Zimbabwe, finished seventh, while the Jamaicans can finish, at worst sixth.

A seventh placed-finish for debutants is nothing to scoff at and the Zimbabweans were a happy bunch despite the loss.

“I’m really impressed with our performance today. Against the world number two it’s quite difficult, and as you can see, against them, our team is vertically challenged! But I’m really impressed,” said Felisitus Kwangwa.

Jamaica, rather, chose to look at what they did right to get past the the netball minnows.

“It was a very physical game. We knew that Zimbabwe would be physical but we came prepared for that. Our team is filled with speed, and I think that we matched up quite well with them,” said Stacian Facey.

Sixth is the worst Jamaica has finished since 1967. They do have a chance to save some blushes by finishing fifth.

That opportunity comes when they play against the very tough Malawi on Sunday.

The ICC has suspended Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) with immediate effect to ensure the sport is kept free of political interference.

State-owned enterprise the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) suspended the entire Zimbabwe Cricket board last month, with an interim committee appointed to run cricket in the country.

SRC acted after issuing a directive that the governing body elective annual general meeting would be suspended amid allegations over the nomination process and the violation of ZC's constitution, along with "various other controversies".

The international governing body has now taken the decision to strip Zimbabwe of full member status, which puts their hopes of featuring in the T20 World Cup next year in doubt.

An ICC statement said: "The ICC board unanimously decided that the full member had failed to fulfil their obligation to provide a process for free and democratic elections and to ensure that there is no government interference in its administration for cricket.

"ICC funding will be suspended, and representative teams from the country will be barred from participating at ICC events, putting their participation in October's men's T20 World Cup qualifier in jeopardy."

ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said: "We do not take the decision to suspend a member lightly, but we must keep our sport free from political interference,

"What has happened in Zimbabwe is a serious breach of the ICC Constitution and we cannot allow it to continue unchecked. The ICC wants cricket to continue in Zimbabwe in accordance with the ICC Constitution."

The introduction of concussions replacements in internationals was also sanction at the ICC Annual Conference in London, with like-for-like replacements allowed to be made from the first Ashes Test between England and Australia next month - pending approval from the match referee.

Another rule change sees captains no longer facing a ban for slow over-rates.

Brian Lara made 375 to break the record for most runs in a Test innings 25 years ago - and his unbeaten 400 a decade on remains the highest score today. 

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