Sri Lanka denied Zimbabwe their first Test series away win in 16 years by chasing down a record-breaking 388 to win the one-off Test by four wickets in Colombo Tuesday.
Niroshan Dickwella (81) and Asela Gunaratne (80 not out) shared a sixth-wicket century partnership to help Dinesh Chandimal’s side complete the highest fourth-innings chase in Sri Lanka – beating Pakistan’s 382 for 3 two years ago.
It was also the highest successful run chase in Sri Lanka’s Test history, and the fifth highest ever by any nation.
It also helped Sri Lanka avoid further embarrassment against Zimbabwe.
The African nation had beaten Sri Lanka 3-2 in the One-Day International series and came close to adding the islanders to their list of away Test scalps following previous series victories in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
They were in pole position to win when spinner Graeme Cremer removed Kusal Mendis, for 66, and Angelo Mathews to take his match haul to nine wickets.
But from 203 for five, Dickwella and Gunaratne dragged Sri Lanka back on track with a stand of 121 in 31 overs until the former, 19 runs short of a maiden Test century, paid the price for attempting to reverse-sweep Sean Williams and was caught behind.
Gunaratne remained firm and saw his side home with an unbeaten 80, alongside Dilruwan Perera (29 not out), to help Sri Lanka finish on 391 for six and ensure their country of a first Test series win since 2016.