Bulawayo: Torrential rain stopped play in the first test between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka today, with Marvan Atapattu chasing a double century.
Atapattu's masterly innings of 178 not out helped Sri Lanka to 358-6, a lead of 72 runs when the heavens opened less than an hour after lunch on the third day. Prospects for further play today looked bleak.
Only the rain, it seems, could have stopped opener Atapattu, who had been at the crease for 493 minutes, facing 364 balls and hitting 22 fours. Sri Lanka resumed on 232-4 and the first session yielded 92 runs at the cost of one wicket.
That fell in the third over of the day when Romesh Kaluwitharana chased a legside delivery from fast bowler Henry Olonga and was caught behind off the back of his bat for 30 by wicketkeeper Andy Flower.
The dismissal ended a fifth-wicket stand of 79, and Atapattu and debutant Indika de Saram exposed the limitations of the Zimbabwe attack in adding 138 runs for the sixth wicket with careful batting on a sound pitch.