New Zealand on high regardless of Karunaratne’s twin fifties

Sri Lanka 164 (Karunaratne 89, Chandimal 37, Henry 3-44, Michael Bracewell 3-50) and 113 for two (Karunaratne 51, Mendis 50, Southee 1-9) path New Zealand 580 for 4 dec by 303 runs

New Zealand’s bowlers propelled their facet to the brink of a 2-0 sequence whitewash over Sri Lanka, choosing up ten wickets on the third day, forcing a follow-on and leaving the guests nonetheless 303 runs behind with eight wickets and two days of cricket nonetheless to go.

At the crease for the guests had been Kusal Mendis, unbeaten on 50, and Angelo Mathews on 1 – the pair that had so memorably saved a Test on the similar floor again in 2018. Back then that they had batted out everything of the fourth day earlier than rain intervened on the fifth to assist safe the draw, and Sri Lanka will definitely be hoping historical past repeats itself – with rain forecast over the approaching days.

But even the assistance of the climate gods won’t be sufficient if Sri Lanka repeat their poor batting show from the third day.

While credit score should go to New Zealand’s bowlers for sticking to their plans diligently and maximising the situations on provide, Sri Lanka’s batters had been undoubtedly responsible of far too typically failing to place a value on their wickets.

While the nightwatcher Prabath Jayasuriya acquired a supply he was far too ill-equipped to take care of, one which pitched on a size and seamed away taking his edge within the course of, Mathews may don’t have any such excuse, edging an analogous – however wider – supply when fending exterior off. This left Sri Lanka 4 down for 34 with barely an hour performed within the morning.

But that setback could be adopted by a strong interval of consolidation between Dimuth Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal, with the Sri Lakna captain, specifically, wanting in good contact. He was affected person with deliveries exterior off, however not averse to punishing any that had been overpitched. Together the pair would placed on 80 for the fifth wicket, and the hope heading into lunch was that they might proceed to make regular progress having already received in.

What adopted although was Sri Lanka’s most inexcusable interval of all the sequence, shedding their ultimate six wickets for simply 55 runs within the interval between lunch and tea.

It was Chandimal that will set off the capitulation. Having swept Michael Bracewell, who was discovering some further flip and bounce for his offbreaks, for 4, Chandimal would cost him only a supply later solely to have the ball flip by means of bat and pad and provide Tom Blundell a simple stumping. A mind fade on the most ill-advised second.

This was adopted by Dhananjaya de Silva coming down the monitor and chipping a straightforward catch straight to quick midwicket – put in place for exactly such a stroke – shortly after.

At 116 for six, this is able to see Nishan Madushka, the debutant, enter. He would string collectively a 40-run stand with Karunaratne on the different finish, who was persevering with unfazed regardless of the chaos round him. In this era, Madushka even produced some stellar stroke play, particularly when driving by means of the offside. But finally he too would fall, courtesy of the additional bounce the pitch was extra persistently producing, edging by means of to second slip.

After Kasun Rajitha was run out, Karunaratne’s persistence would lastly put on skinny, uncharacteristically seeking to beat the person within the deep, and holing out at long-off for a 188-ball 89. Last man Asitha Fernando wouldn’t final for much longer both, as Sri Lanka had been bowled out 164, with Matt Henry and Bracewell taking three wickets apiece.

With a 416-run lead, Tim Southee then had little hesitation in implementing the follow-on, and again out got here Karunaratne for his second essay somewhat over 10 minutes after he had been dismissed.

Sri Lanka’s second effort with the bat undoubtedly fared higher, however two wickets misplaced in opposition to the run of play should come to hang-out them.

Oshada Fernando, who’s had a tour to overlook, ended up flicking one off his hips straight to sq. leg, however the wicket that can damage essentially the most is that of Karunaratne’s.

Having struck at a fee of 47.34 within the first innings, Karunaratne’s second outing ticked alongside at 61.44, displaying a extra proactive streak and an inclination to tackle the New Zealand bowlers. Alongside a equally optimistic Mendis, the pair regularly took on a splattering of quick stuff served up by the seamers on an more and more bouncy monitor.

It could be the relative consolation with which they deal with pulling and reducing nonetheless that can probably grate Karunaratne as he appears again on his dismissal this night, because it was an umpteenth quick ball that he wound up high edging to deep midwicket. It having come after reaching his second fifty of the day would solely have been salt within the wounds.

Mercifully for Sri Lanka, they’d lose no additional wickets, with Mathews particularly pleased to close up store throughout his 40-ball knock for only a solitary run, however the guests will know they’re going to must do significantly better in the event that they’re to outlive the subsequent two periods, not to mention the subsequent two days.

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