Sikandar Raza led a vital fightback as Zimbabwe battled back from the brink to leave their Test match against Sri Lanka in the balance in Hambantota.
Having wrapped up the hosts first innings for 346 in the morning session, Graeme Cremer taking two of the final three wickets to claim five for 125, Zimbabwe's top order crumbled.
Coming to the crease with a slim 10-run lead they were reduced to 59 for five, veteran spinner Rangana Herath responsible for all but one of the dismissals.
But Raza dug in for stumps, making 97 not out from number six and forging momentum-shifting partnerships with Peter Moor (40) and Malcolm Waller (57no).
The tourists closed on 252 for six, 262 ahead, but with all results still possible.