Black Caps close on win
New Zealand were on course for a creditable series draw with Sri Lanka, going into the last day of the second Test at Colombo’s P Sara Oval.
Seventeen wickets fell on a day that the hosts resumed with their first innings on 225 for six in reply to 412, but added just 19 more.
The Black Caps then posted 194 for nine declared, thanks mainly to captain Ross Taylor’s 74, to set Sri Lanka 363 to win before reducing them to 47 for four when bad light ended play early.
Thilan Samaraweera had put on an unbroken 97 for the seventh wicket with Suraj Randiv late on day three but Samaraweera was dismissed by Trent Boult for his overnight 76, edging to second slip. Randiv improved on yesterday’s 34 by five before he was lbw to Boult.
Nuwan Kulasekara edged to first slip to give Tim Southee his fifth wicket and the innings was over when Rangana Herath was superbly caught by Kane Williamson in the gully off Boult, who took 4-42 to Southee’s 5-62.
Shaminda Eranga had Martin Guptill caught at gully early in New Zealand’s second innings and fellow opener Brendon McCullum was stumped off Herath for 35.
Williamson, like Taylor a first-innings centurion, departed when he edged to first slip off Kulasekara who trapped Daniel Flynn in front for nought three balls before Herath had Kruger van Wyk held at leg-slip without scoring.
That left the tourists 75 for five, but Todd Astle gave Taylor some welcome support with a patient 35. They added 97 until Astle swept Randiv, hit short-leg’s boot and was caught at midwicket.
In the next over, bowled by Herath, Doug Bracewell holed out to long-on and Taylor was run out when Southee disagreed with his call for a second run.
It was three wickets in two overs when Randiv had Jeetan Patel stumped without scoring and the declaration at 194 for nine soon followed.
Southee gave New Zealand a perfect start to the fourth innings by snaring Tharanga Paranavitana lbw first ball. He struck again to have Tillakaratne Dilshan caught behind.
Bracewell got in on the act by bowling Kumar Sangakkara off his thigh pad and making Mahela Jayawardene edge behind shortly before stumps.