Angelo Mathews struck his highest Test rating with an unbeaten double century on Wednesday as Sri Lanka left Zimbabwe battling to save the sequence opener going into the ultimate day at Harare.
Former skipper Mathews eclipsed his earlier Test better of 160 and completed 200 not out after a marathon knock spanning 468 balls, as Sri Lanka declared their first innings on 515 for 9.
Zimbabwe, enjoying their first Test since November 2018, ended the fourth day on 30 with out loss and trailing by 127 runs after Brian Mudzinganyama was drafted in as a concussion substitute for opener Kevin Kasuza.
Debutant Kasuza, who made 63 within the first innings, suffered a delayed concussion after he took a blow to the helmet whereas fielding at quick leg on Tuesday.
Mudzinganyama grew to become the fourth Zimbabwean to make his Test debut on this match. He was unbeaten on 14 with Prince Masvaure 15 not out at stumps.
The 32-year-previous Mathews introduced up his 10th Test century, his first since December 2018, within the morning session and steadily added to his complete with appreciable help from Dhananjaya de Silva and Niroshan Dickwella.
He was dropped shortly after reaching his ton when wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva was unable to maintain a troublesome likelihood off left-arm spinner Ainsley Ndlovu.
De Silva and Dickwella each scored 63 however two fast wickets for Sikandar Raza, who completed with three for 62, hastened the declaration as Mathews reached 200 with a sweep to the sq. leg boundary.
With someday remaining, the guests seem the one workforce able to victory though the pitch appears probably to have the ultimate say.
The two-Test tour was solely introduced by the Sri Lankan cricket board final week.
Zimbabwe have been readmitted as an ICC member in October following a 3-month suspension over political interference.
The Sri Lanka video games signify their first Tests since a 1-1 sequence attract Bangladesh in November 2018.
Zimbabwe final performed a Test at dwelling towards the West Indies in October 2017.