Craig Ervine hit an unbeaten 151 for his highest score as Zimbabwe recovered from a shaky start to reach 344 for eight at stumps against hosts Sri Lanka on the opening day of the one-off Test at R. Premadasa Stadium.
Sri Lanka's spin spearhead Rangana Herath struck early as Zimbabwe were reduced to 38-3 after winning the toss and electing to bat first.
But left-handed Ervine, who hit his second Test hundred, compiled two half-century partnerships with Sikandar Raza (36) and Malcolm Waller (36) to lead the fightback for Zimbabwe, who beat Sri Lanka 3-2 in the recent one-day international series.
Left-arm spinner Herath finished as the most successful bowler with four wickets for 106 Sri Lanka, who were playing the first match under new Test captain Dinesh Chandimal.
Zimbabwe 1st innings:
H. Masakadza c Mendis B Herath 19
R. Chakabva b Herath 12
T. Musakanda c Dickwella b Kumara 6
C. Ervine not out 151
S. Williams c Gunaratne b Perera 22
S. Raza lbw b Herath 36
P. Moor c Kumara b Gunaratne 19
M. Waller b Herath 36
G. Cremer b Gunaratne 13
D. Tiripano not out 24
Extras (W-1, NB-5) 6
Total (For 8 wickets in 90 overs) 344
Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-38, 3-38, 4-70, 5-154, 6-195, 7-260, 8-282.
Bowling: Lakmal 14-1-58-0, Kumara 15-2-66-1, Herath 30-4 -106-4; Perera 24-0-86-1; Gunaratne 7-0-28-2.