Colombo: Colombo: Zimbabwe were seven wickets away from their maiden Test win over Sri Lanka on Monday after setting the hosts a target of 388 in their one-off match at the R. Premadasa Stadium.
Sri Lanka were 170 for three in their second innings at stumps on the fourth day, still needing another 218 to beat Zimbabwe, who also recently won their maiden One-day International (ODI) series against the hosts.
Kusal Mendis was unbeaten on 60 with Angelo Mathews, who stepped down as captain after the ODI series defeat, on 17 not out.
Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer picked up two wickets for 67 in Sri Lanka's second innings to add to his five-wicket haul in the first innings.
Earlier, Sikandar Raza's first Test century helped Zimbabwe to 377 in their second innings after the touring side had resumed the fourth day on 252 for six.
Raza scored 127 and added 144 for the seventh wicket with Malcolm Waller, who made 68, to ensure his side set Sri Lanka a steep target to chase.
Sri Lanka spin spearhead Rangana Herath picked up six for 116 -- his 31st five-wicket haul in Tests -- to total 11 wickets in the match.
Zimbabwe 1st innings: 356
(C. Ervine 160; R. Herath 5-116)
Sri Lanka 1st innings: 346
(U. Tharanga 71, D. Chandimal 55; G. Cremer 5-125)
Zimbabwe 2nd innings
H. Masakadza lbw Herath 7
R. Chakabva b Herath 6
T. Musakanda c Karunaratne b Herath 0
C. Ervine c Karunaratne b D. Perera 5
S. Williams b Herath 22
S. Raza b Herath 127
P. Moor c sub b Kumara 40
M. Waller c Tharanga b D. Perera 68
G. Cremer c Karunaratne b Herath 48
D. Tiripano lbw D. Perera 19
C. Mpofu (not out) 9
Extras (b-4, lb-14, nb-1, w-7) 26
Total (all out, 107.1 overs) 377
Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-16, 3-17, 4-23, 5-59, 6-145, 7-289, 8-306, 9-361.
Bowling: Suranga Lakmal 14-0-43-0; Rangana Herath 39.1-5-133-6; Dilruwan Perera 30-2-95-3; Lahiru Kumara 20-3-72-1 (nb-1, w-3); Kusal Mendis 4-0-16-0.
Sri Lanka 2nd innings
D. Karunaratne b Williams 49
U. Tharanga c Moor b Cremer 27
Kusal Mendis (not out) 60
D. Chandimal c H. Masakadza b Cremer 15
Angelo Mathews (not out) 17
Extras (lb-2) 2
Total (3 wkts, 48 overs) 170
Fall of wickets: 1-58, 2-108, 3-133.
Bowling: S. Raza 9-1-29-0; S. Williams 16-0-62-1; G. Cremer 19-0-67-2; M. Waller 4-0-10-0.