Match evenly poised on the bowlers day – Sri Lanka vs. New Zealand, first Test

New Zealand 1st innings 221 (Brendon McCullum 68, Daniel Flynn 53, Rangana Herath 5-65) and 2nd innings 1-35 (Martin Guptill 13*, Brendon McCullum 13, Herath 1-13) lead Sri Lanka 247 (Mahela Jayawardene 91, Angelo Mathews 79, Tim Southee 4-46) by 9 runs,

Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews batted excellently on the second day which belonged to the bowlers as 10 wickets fell and the match was evenly balanced.

New Zealand managed 221 runs in their first innings followed by 1-35 in the second as Sri Lanka was restricted to 247 before they were bowled out in the first innings.

The second day’s play concluded on Sunday, November 18, 2012, at Galle International Stadium.

Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews - 156 runs match saving partnership
Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews – 156 runs match saving partnership

Earlier, Sri Lanka started the day at 1-9 after 5 overs, Suraj Randiv was batting at three runs and Tharanga Pranavitana had yet to open his account. The visitors made an early dent to the home team when the latter was clean bowled by Tim Southee for a duck on the fourth ball of the day. Randiv was dropped on the fifth delivery of the 8th over by Brendon McCullum in the third slip off Southee but the batsman was gone on the very next ball for nine runs.

The invasion of the Black Caps bowlers continued when the premier batsman of the Islanders, Kumar Sangakkara, was caught by McCullum off Trent Boult for just five runs. The Lankan Lions were in dire trouble after losing their fourth wicket for 20 mere runs in 8.4 overs when Thilan Samaraweera joined in with his skipper, Mahela Jayawardene. The first fifty of the innings was scored on the third ball of the 16th over but Samaraweera was declared leg before wicket off Southee for 17 runs.

The vice captain of Sri Lanka, Angelo Mathews, appeared in the centre after the fall of the fifth wicket as the Kiwis looked like penetrating through the batting line up of the rival team. The duo initiated the consolidation process slowly and Mathews opened up in the 22nd over with a couple of fours. Jayawardene dispatched the first six of the innings in the 26th over and the total touched 100 after 27 overs.

Mahela Jayawardene completed his 43rd Test fifty in the 37th over and Angelo Mathews achieved his timely 9th Test half century two overs later. The dedicated batting from the pair kept on enhancing the score towards a respectful destination as the second hundred of the innings appeared on the screen in the 61st over. The sixth wicket partnership escalated the score to 206 when Angelo Mathews was caught behind by the wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk off James Franklin for 79 off 154 with 1 six and 12 fours.

The smooth going Mahela Jayawardene lost his wicket nine runs later at his personal contribution of 91 off 176 with 1 six and 11 fours. The tail of the home side did not last longer and their innings was wiped off for 247 in 80.2 overs after gaining a first innings lead of 26 runs.

Tim Southee was the most lethal bowler with four wickets, Jeetan Patel held three, Trent Boult got two and James Franklin secured one wicket.

New Zealand faced an early shock when their star opener, Brendon McCullum, was caught by Nuwan Kulasekara at deep square leg off Rangana Herath for 13. The first wicket fell at 18 in 3.5 overs as Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson saw the day off without any further loss. Both batsmen were unbeaten at 13 and 9 runs respectively as the Black Caps reached 35 in 10 overs and got a lead of nine runs.

New Zealand finds them in a tough situation as the wicket is providing much assistance to the bowlers and especially they have to be extra careful against Rangana Herath who has broken the opening partnership. A minimum lead of 200 runs will bring the match to an interesting stage.


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