Rare Tharanga ton extends Sri Lanka's advantage


Zimbabwe face a daunting task to avoid defeat in the first Test against Sri Lanka, reaching stumps on day two in Harare 449 runs behind and with nine wickets remaining in their first innings. 

Sri Lanka were dominant in reaching 317-4 on the opening day of the match and duly extended their advantage against the outclassed hosts on Sunday.

Upul Tharanga finished unbeaten on 110 after scoring his team's second century of the innings, Kusal Perera notching the same score a day earlier.

It was Tharanga's first hundred since 2006, the 31-year-old having not played Test cricket between 2007 and 2014, as he helped to guide the tourists to 537 all out.

Zimbabwe reached 88-1 in reply, losing Brian Chari (5) lbw to Rangana Herath, in what was his first over bowling as Sri Lanka captain.

Tino Mawoyo and Hamilton Masakadza will face the challenge of trying to chip away at the visitors' commanding lead when they resume on 41 and 33 respectively on Monday. 

Earlier, Dhananjaya de Silva added only 15 runs to his overnight score before slicing a Graeme Cremer (4-142) leg-break to Sean Williams at long-off.

But Tharanga, having started the day on 13, proved impossible for Zimbabwe to dislodge, finding the boundary 10 times during his patient knock, which lasted 208 deliveries.

Asela Gunaratne contributed 54, eventually holing out with a top-edge from a short Williams delivery taken by Cremer at mid-wicket.