Second Test preview: Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka only just put Zimbabwe away in the first Test and the second will be all about who learned the most from the first outing in Harare just last week.
Zimbabwe showed they have the steel to save a Test match even if they fell short in their efforts but what they don’t seem to have is a bowling attack that can take 20 wickets in a game.
Carl Mumba will give the hosts a lift in that department as he proved to be able to strike reasonably regularly but with only skipper Graeme Cremer looking likely to get wickets at the other end the hosts don’t look likely to win this encounter.
Sri Lanka seem content to approach this tour as batting practice ahead of what will be a much tougher examination in South Africa in December.
Their batsmen will look to assert their dominance over Zimbabwe early and hope they can bowl the stubborn hosts out twice.
The Sri Lankan spinners did not get the kind of turn we may have expected in the first Test and didn’t look as lethal as they did against Australia but seamer Suranga Lakmal was something of a revelation extracting lethal swing at critical moments.
For Zimbabwe veteran batsman Hamilton Masakadza has to come to the party after scoring just 19 runs in the first Test against New Zealand and making a total of 53 runs in tow innings in the first Test.
Ervine and Williams will be expected to contribute with both bat and ball as will skipper Graeme Cremer who will get through a mountain of overs before this Test is through.
Sri Lanka have a young team but Kusal Perera, Upul Tharanga and Dimuth Karunaratne all cracked hundreds in the first Test and will be eager to repeat the success.
Herath will be looking to lead his bowlers by example but unlike his opposite number Cremer he will have plenty of back up at least in terms of spinners.
Last five head-to-head results
2016 First Test: Sri Lanka won by 225 runs in Harare
2004 Second Test: Sri Lanka won by an innings and 254 in Bulawayo
2004 First Test: Sri Lanka won by an innings and 240 runs in Harare
2002 Third Test: Sri Lanka won by 315 runs in Galle
2002 Second Test: Sri Lanka won by an innings and 94 runs in Kandy
Zimbabwe squad: Graeme Cremer, Tinotenda Mawoyo, Hamilton Masakadza, Craig Ervine, Sean Williams, Regis Chakabva, Peter Moor, Donald Tiripano, Christopher Mpofu, Taurai Muzarabani, Michael Chinouya, Brian Chari, Sikandar Raza, Malcolm Waller, Carl Mumba, Tarisai Musakanda.
Sri Lanka squad: Rangana Herath,(capt), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Kasun Madhushanka, Lahiru Kumara, Lahiru Gamage, Suranga Lakmal, Asela Gunaratne.
Dates: November 6-10
Morning session: 09:30-11:30 (11:30-13:30 GMT)
Afternoon session: 12:10-14:10
Evening session: 14:30-17:00
Umpires: Simon Fry and Ian Gould
Match referee: Chris Broad
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