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Bold Zimbabwe attack on opening day against Sri Lanka

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Harare (AFP)

Some brave, attacking batting from Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams gave Zimbabwe the upper hand on the opening day of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Harare on Monday, as they reached 214 for four at tea.

After the early losses of Prince Masvaure and Craig Ervine, Taylor counter-attacked boldly, hitting 10 fours and one six over long-off from left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya in a run-a-ball 62.

Taylor scored the lion's share of the runs in a 65-run partnership with opener Kevin Kasuza who played in spite of being 'substituted' for the second innings in last week's first Test after being hit on the head while fielding at short leg.

Kasuza batted through the morning before losing his off-stump to Suranga Lakmal for 38.

Lakmal, who bowled superbly in the first Test, produced another fine delivery to remove Taylor, nipping one back to peg him leg before.

Zimbabwe captain Williams backed up his decision to bat first after winning the toss by reaching 36 from just 36 balls. He slowed slightly to reach his third Test half-century and was 57 not out from 71 balls at tea, having hit five fours and two sixes.

He shared an unbroken partnership of 81 with Sikander Raza who was 30 not out at tea.

Sri Lanka began the day well with Lahiru Kumara finding the edge of Masvaure's bat for nine before Irvine nudged Dhananjaya de Silva to short-leg where Oshada Fernando snapped up a sharp catch.

Zimbabwe made two changes to the side that lost the first Test by 10 wickets at the same venue last week.

Carl Mumba came in for fast bowler Kyle Jarvis who suffered a back injury in the opening Test while all-rounder Tinotenda Mutombodzi, who bowls leg-spin, came in for his Test debut ahead of Ainsley Ndlovu.

Sri Lanka made one change with left-arm pace bowler Vishwa Fernando coming in for Kasun Rajitha.

Sri Lanka lead the two-Test series 1-0.

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