COLOMBO: New Zealand’s seam bowling pair of Tim Southee and Trent Boult struck twice each to reduce Sri Lanka to 144 for six wickets in their first innings on a rain-truncated second day in the second and final Test in Colombo on Friday.
Weather continued to hamper play in the match New Zealand must win to level the series after the hosts won the opener in Galle by six wickets.
Only 29.3 overs of play was possible after Sri Lanka resumed their innings on 85 for two but it was enough for the New Zealand seamers to make inroads into their opponents’ batting in overcast conditions at P.Sara Oval.
Boult struck twice in the 42nd over, having Angelo Mathews (2) dismissed with the first ball when he attempted a pull shot and gloved a catch to wicketkeeper BJ Watling. In the fifth delivery, Kusal Perera (0) was trapped lbw leaving Sri Lanka at 93-4.
Southee joined the fray by taking the price wicket of in-form captain Dimuth Karunaratne, who was caught behind for 65 runs. Karunaratne carried his good form from the first test in which he scored a century, and faced 165 deliveries and hit six boundaries.
Niroshan Dickwella also departed without scoring, caught behind by Watling off Southee.
Dhananjaya de Silva was batting on 32 with Dilruwan Perera on five when rain forced the players off the ground.
Sri Lanka would have been in more trouble if Boult had managed to hold on to a simple caught-and-bowled chance from de Silva with the batsman on nine.
Weather permitting, extended playing time is planned for the third day after two days of continuous rain interruptions in the Sri Lankan capital.
SRI LANKA (overnight 85-2): D. Karunaratne c Watling b Southee 65 L. Thirimanne c Williamson b Somerville 2 K. Mendis c Watling b de Grandhomme 32 A. Mathews c Watling b Boult 2 K. Perera lbw b Boult 0 D. de Silva not out 32 N. Dickwella c Watling b Southee 0 D. Perera not out 5 EXTRAS (B-1, LB-2, NB-3) 6 TOTAL (for 6 wkts, 66 overs) 144 TO BAT: S. Lakmal, L. Embuldeniya, L. Kumara. FALL OF WKTS: 1-29, 2-79, 3-93, 4-93, 5-130, 6-130. BOWLING: Boult 14-5-33-2, Southee 20-5-40-2, De Grandhomme 17-3-35-1 (nb3), Somerville 6-3-20-1, Patel 9-3-13-0.
Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2019