Colombo - Sikandar Raza hit his maiden Test century Monday
to stretch Zimbabwe's second-innings lead over Sri Lanka to 350 runs,
compounding the woes of the embattled hosts on day four.
The visitors took lunch at 340 for eight with skipper Graeme
Cremer (35) batting alongside Donald Tiripano (eight) at Colombo's R Premadasa
Overnight batsmen Malcolm Waller (68) and Raza, who started
the day on 97, were the two wickets to fall in the morning session after
Zimbabwe resumed the day on 252-6 in the one-off Test.
Raza was bowled for 127 after attempting an audacious
reverse sweep off left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who took his overall match
tally to 10 with a five-for in each innings.
Waller was the first to go, falling to off-spinner Dilruwan
Perera after adding just 11 runs to his overnight score. His wicket ended a
144-run seventh-wicket stand.
The Pakistan-born Raza put Zimbabwe on top after they were
left tottering at 23-4 and 59-5 on the third day with Herath rattling the
Raza, 31, combined the right dose of caution and aggression
to thwart the Sri Lankan bowling attack during his 205-ball stay laced with
nine fours and a six.
All-rounder Cremer, who got his maiden five-wicket haul in
the Sri Lankan innings, took over the batting charge from Raza to frustrate the
opposition bowling with some quick runs.
While Zimbabwe eye their first-ever Test win against Sri
Lanka, the hosts are looking for redemption under new Test captain Dinesh
Chandimal after a shock loss in the one-day series.