Zimbabwe's bowlers ensured Sri Lanka made slow progress on day two of the second Test in Harare before play was halted early due to bad light.

Starting on 352-6, the hosts ended an impressive first innings on 406 all out as they bid to bounce back from their 10-wicket defeat to the tourists in the series opener last week.

And Zimbabwe's attack was economical in restricting Sri Lanka to 122-2 from 54 overs in their reply.

After Sean Williams' century on day one, Zimbabwe returned to the crease on Tuesday in a strong position, though they had added just 10 to their overnight total when wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva fell for 31 to Lasith Embuldeniya, who ended with figures of 4-182.

Debutant Tinotenda Mutombodzi (33) did most of the work in ensuring his side moved past the psychological 400 mark before falling to Dhananjaya de Silva (3-71).

Embuldeniya took care of the last two wickets and Sri Lanka made a solid start to their first innings, captain Dimuth Karunaratne and fellow opener Oshada Fernando combining to produce a disciplined 94-run stand.

But Sikandar Raza took the pivotal wicket of Karunaratne, who was trapped lbw for 44 while trying to sweep a full delivery, before Fernando's 168-minute innings came to an end as he also fell for the same score as his skipper, Donald Tiripano getting him caught behind.

Kusal Mendis against Raza produced an entertaining duel, the Sri Lanka number three smashing him for six while he was also dropped by Prince Masvaure, fielding at forward short leg, and a diving Tiripano at deep mid wicket either side of that maximum.

Having scored 80 in the opening Test, Mendis will return to the crease on Wednesday on 19 not out, partnered by Angelo Mathews (4no), with Sri Lanka still 284 runs adrift.

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.

The West Indies commence their first away series of 2020 with three One-day and two Twenty20 internationals in Sri Lanka from February 22 to March 6.

The one-day matches will be the final bilateral series West Indies will play before the Caribbean side and all the top thirteen teams participate in newly formed ICC ODI league that runs from May 2020 - March 31, 2022.

In this new limited-overs cycle, under the 2019 - 2023 Future Tours Programme (FTP) established by the ICC to bring greater context to international cricket fixtures, the seven highest-ranked teams apart from India, who gained automatically entry as tournament hosts, will qualify for the 2023 World Cup.Following the 3- 0 ODI series clean sweeps against Afghanistan and Ireland, the West Indies currently sit in 9th position with 80 points with Sri Lanka in 8th place on 81 points.

A series win for West Indies will move them into 8th position ahead of Sri Lanka in the official ICC ODI Team Rankings, ahead of the first ODI league matches at home in July against current number three ODI ranked team, New Zealand.

The T20Is provide West Indies the opportunity to win their first T20I rubber since the 2-1 series victory over Bangladesh in December 2018 as they continue to build momentum ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia in October 2020, a country where the team won their first T20 World Cup title in 2012.

Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams said the series was important as the team sought to continue steady preparations for the World Cup.

“The Sri Lanka series allows us to continue the process of building towards this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia as well as the longer term goal of automatic qualification for the next ICC Cricket World Cup in 2023. Playing in unfamiliar conditions should be a good test for both of our squads.”

 

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.

India completed a 2-0 series victory over Sri Lanka by comfortably winning the third Twenty20 in Pune by 78 runs.

KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan each had fifties for India, whose impressive score of 201-6 never looked achievable for a Sri Lanka side that was skittled for 123 with 4.1 overs remaining.

Dhawan (52) brought up his half century with a single after a shot through extra cover but his 97-run union with Rahul was ended by Lakshan Sandakan (3-35) three balls later.

Rahul (54) fell two deliveries after making his fifty and Sandakan removed Shreyas Iyer in the same over to bring in captain Virat Kohli, who was batting down at number six.

Kohli hit a match-winning six in the second T20 and he made 26 off 17 before being run out attempting an ambitious second off Lasith Kumara, who dismissed Washington Sundar for a golden duck next ball.

India were at 164-6 with 16 balls remaining so Manish Pandey (31 not out) and Shardul Thakur cut loose, the latter bludgeoning two maximums and a four in a sensational eight-ball 22.

Jasprit Bumrah (1-5) moved clear of Yuzvendra Chahal (0-33) as India's leading T20 wicket-taker with a short ball to Danushka Gunathilaka (1) in the opening over of the chase and Sri Lanka were soon in trouble at 26-4.

Angelo Mathews (31) and Dhananjaya de Silva (57) steadied the ship with a 68-run stand for the fifth wicket, but when Sundar accounted for the former the jig was up.

Dhananjaya managed to reach fifty despite a distinct lack of support, but Navdeep Saini (3-28) removed him and Lasith Malinga to put the tourists out of their misery.

Virat Kohli's maximum wrapped up a comfortable seven-wicket win for India over Sri Lanka to take a 1-0 lead in their three-match Twenty20 series.

The opening clash was wiped out by rain in Guwahati and Sri Lanka's innings on Tuesday also proved a damp squib, the loss of late wickets limiting them to a modest 142-9.

India chased that down with 15 balls to spare at Indore, Kohli confirming the triumph in style to cap an explosive knock from the skipper.

Sri Lanka's top three made credible contributions but the tourists' line-up as a whole failed to fire.

Kusal Perera's brisk 34 included all three of his side's sixes, with Avishka Fernando (22) and Danushka Gunathilaka (20) providing support at the top end of the order.

Jasprit Bumrah had opened the bowling by conceding two wides and was then hit for four, but that went against the trend that was to follow.

Sri Lanka were frustrated in their efforts to reach anything close to a par score, despite Wanindu Hasaranga sending the final three deliveries to the boundary to book-end Bumrah's inconsistent spell.

With such a modest total to chase, India could afford to be patient and it took Sri Lanka until the 10th over to end KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan's 71-run opening partnership, Hasaranga claiming the former's scalp.

Dhawan went soon after, lbw to the same bowler, but it was never likely to trouble India's bid for victory and Shreyas Iyer added a handy 34 before falling in what proved to be the final over.

Kohli put the seal on things, swiping Lahiru Kumara over the ropes to finish with 30 off 17 deliveries.

The final match of the series takes place in Pune on Friday.

Rory Burns will miss England's two-Test tour of Sri Lanka after undergoing surgery on the ruptured ankle ligaments he sustained when playing football last week.

Opener Burns suffered the injury while playing football with his England colleagues in Cape Town as they prepared for the second Test against South Africa at Newlands.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Burns would miss the final three Tests against the Proteas and would fly home for further assessment.

The governing body has now confirmed Burns underwent surgery in London on Monday and is due to be sidelined for the next four months.

He will therefore be absent when England travel to Sri Lanka for Tests in Galle and Colombo in March.

Burns has appeared in 15 Tests for England since making his debut against Sri Lanka in November 2018 and has averaged 33.75, scoring two hundreds and six half-centuries.

Zak Crawley replaced Burns in Cape Town and made four and 25 in his first two Test innings.

India's opening Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain in Guwahati.

Jasprit Bumrah was set to return to action for India after recovering from a back injury, but his first appearance since September will have to wait.

Home captain Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bowl, yet early evening rain meant there was no play possible, to the disappointment of a large crowd at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium.

Spectators entertained themselves with a mass singalong while waiting for news of pitch inspections, before a final decision was announced shortly before 10pm local time.

The second game in the three-match series is scheduled for Tuesday at the Holkar Stadium in Indore.

Lasith Malinga would be open to retiring from Twenty20 internationals later this year, so long as he has helped Sri Lanka reach the T20 World Cup.

Paceman Malinga has already retired from Test and one-day cricket at international level, yet he intends to lead the team at this year's World Cup, the tournament they won in 2014.

Sri Lanka must come through a four-team group in the first round - playing Ireland, Papua New Guinea and Oman - in order to reach the Super 12 stage.

Malinga is willing to step aside whenever Sri Lanka ask him to, but he wants to see his nation safely through the qualifying stage in Australia.

"I've already retired from Tests and one-dayers," he told a news conference ahead of a T20 meeting with India. "It's [about] whatever is required for Sri Lanka cricket.

"If they say it's enough for me now then I'll be really happy to retire from T20 cricket also.

"But my only target is to be able to play the qualifying [first] round at the World Cup. If I play the qualifying round and the Sri Lanka team qualify for the World Cup, after that, I wouldn't mind any time I retire."

Sunday's opening T20 will see Malinga come up against Mumbai Indians team-mate Jasprit Bumrah.

The India star is the world's top-ranked ODI bowler, but he is making his return from a back injury and Malinga suggests that his lay-off could play in Sri Lanka's favour.

"As the number one [ODI] bowler, he's got the skill and accuracy," the veteran said. "But he's coming [back] after the injury and hasn't played much cricket for five or six months.

"After the injury, most of the bowlers struggle for the first few matches. We want to make that an advantage for us."

Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva have been recalled to Sri Lanka's Twenty20 squad for their three-match tour of India.

Former skipper Mathews has not represented his country in the shortest format since August 2018, while Dhananjaya's most recent T20I appearance came last March. 

However, both are now back in favour as Sri Lanka look to bounce back from three comprehensive defeats in their last T20 series against Australia.

Nuwan Pradeep misses out due to an injury sustained in practice, meaning Kasun Rajitha retains his place in a 16-man squad.

Shehan Jayasuriya, who played the last T20 in Australia, is the other player to be cut from Sri Lanka's previous selection.

The squad will leave for India on Thursday, ahead of the first T20 on Sunday.

India have included fit-again duo Jasprit Bumrah and Shikhar Dhawan in their squads for the upcoming limited-overs games against Sri Lanka and Australia.

Paceman Bumrah has not played for his country since the Test series against West Indies concluded early in September due to a stress fracture of the back.

However, the 26-year-old is set to make his return in the three-match Twenty20 series with Sri Lanka, which takes place early in January.

Bumrah – who was part of India's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup - will also be involved when Australia are the visitors for three one-dayers later in the same month.

Dhawan also returns, the opening batsman available after overcoming a leg injury. However, Hardik Pandya is absent as he continues to recover from a back problem.

Rohit Sharma, meanwhile, is rested for the Sri Lanka series, along with fast bowler Mohammed Shami.

The first T20 takes place on January 5 in Guwahati, followed by games in Indore (January 7) and Pune (January 10).

As for the series with Australia, that begins in Mumbai on January 14. Virat Kohli's side will then be in 50-over action in Rajkot three days later, followed by the finale in Bangalore on January 19.

 

India squad for T20 series against Sri Lanka: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Washington Sundar.

India squad for ODI series against Australia: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami.

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