Zimbabwe won the toss and chose to bat first on a Khettarama track expected to be full of runs on the first day. The form their top order carries over from the ODIs may also have played a role in that decision.
Tarisai Musakanda made his Test debut following a good run of scores in the last three ODIs of the preceding series. In fact, the only change to the top eight that turned out for Zimbabwe in the ODIs was the entrance of Regis Chakabva in place of opener Solomon Mire, who is not in the Test squad. On the bowling front, Tendai Chatara, who had been Zimbabwe’s best seamer in the ODIs was left out, with Chris Mpofu and Donald Tiripano comprising the frontline options. Captain Graeme Cremer was the lead spinner, with allrounders Sikander Raza, Sean Williams and Malcolm Waller also capable of contributing with the ball.
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, favoured the experience of offspinner Dilruwan Perera, leaving Lakshan Sandakan out of the XI. Lahiru Kumara and Suranga Lakmal were the main seam-bowling options.
There is a chance of showers interrupting play later in the day, but the weather was fine at the toss. The match is Dinesh Chandimal’s first as Test captain.
Sri Lanka: 1 Upul Tharanga, 2 Dimuth Karunaratne, 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Dinesh Chandimal (capt), 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Asela Gunaratne, 7 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 8 Dilruwan Perera, 9 Rangana Herath, 10 Suranga Lakmal, 11 Lahiru Kumara
Zimbabwe: 1 Regis Chakabva, 2 Hamilton Masakadza, 3 Tarisai Musakanda, 4 Craig Ervine, 5 Sean Williams, 6 Sikandar Raza, 7 Malcolm Waller, 8 Peter Moor (wk), 9 Graeme Cremer (capt), 10 Chris Mpofu, 11 Donald Tiripano
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