Jayasuriya is denied his ninth century

Sri Lanka 211-3 v Zimbabwe
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The Independent Online

Sanath Jayasuriya yesterday missed out on a ninth Test hundred as Sri Lanka endured a painstaking first day in their opening Test against Zimbabwe. The unsettled tourists, under new captaincy after Brian Murphy dropped himself, kept a tight reign on Sri Lanka to restrict the hosts to 211 for 3 when bad light stopped play after 73.2 overs.

The openers Jayasuriya and Marvan Atapattu were shackled by tight Zimbabwean bowling and crawled to 78 from 33 overs. It was then that Heath Streak made Zimbabwe's first breakthrough, capturing Atapattu caught behind for 25.

Jayasuriya continued to score largely in boundaries, hitting 16 en route to 94. He was ably supported by the wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara in a stand of 72 before Andy Flower held his second catch of the day shortly after tea, off Trevor Gripper. It was the second time in his 67-Test career that Jayasuriya has succumbed in the "nervous nineties". His departure reduced the hosts to 150 for 2 and it was soon 170 for 3 as Gripper took his second wicket when Mahela Jayawardenewas caught by the stand-in captain Stuart Carlisle on 18.

When play was stopped, initially for bad light and then rain, Sangakkara was unbeaten on 62, with Russel Arnoldon four.

First day; Zimbabwe won toss

SRI LANKA – First Innings

M S Atapattu c A Flower b Streak 25

*S T Jayasuriya c A Flower b Gripper 92

ÝK Sangakkara not out 62

D P M Jayawardene c Carlisle

b Gripper 18

R P Arnold not out 4

Extras (b2 lb2 w2 nb4) 10

Total (for 3, 73.2 overs) 211

Fall: 1-78 2-150 3-170,

To bat: H P Tillakaratne, T T Samaraweera, W P U J C Vaas, D N T Zoysa, T C B Fernando, M Muralitharan.

Bowling: Streak 17-3-41-1; Friend 14-3-58-0; Olonga 9-1-35-0; Brent 17.2-4-26-0; Gripper 13-3-35-2; G W Flower 3-1-12-0.

ZIMBABWE: H Masakadza, T R Gripper, *S V Carlisle, G W Flower, ÝA Flower, C B Wishart, T J Friend, H H Streak, G B Brent, H K Olonga, G J Rennie.

Umpires: P T Manuel and Riazuddin.