Sri Lanka 88-7; New Zealand in sight of victory in 2nd test
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Fast bowler Tim Southee picked up two wickets to put New Zealand within sight of a series-leveling victory in the second cricket test after Sri Lanka slumped to 88 for seven at tea on the last day Monday.
The Sri Lankan still require 99 runs to avoid an inning defeat and to bat out 36 overs in the final session with three just wickets remaining. But there are chances of poor light or rain intervening, as was the case for the most part of the test match.
Sri Lanka resumed the second session with 33 for five but Niroshan Dickwella and captain Dimuth Karunaratne shared 41 runs for the sixth wicket to raise hopes of a draw.
Karunaratne made 21 before being trapped lbw by Southee bowling round the wicket with the total on 73. He reviewed the decision unsuccessfully.
Dilruwan Perera departed without scoring, caught by Ross Taylor off Southee.
Dickwella was on 36 not out with Suranga Lakmal yet to score.
Southee was probing and economical in taking two for 15 in 12 overs.
In the first session, Kusal Perera opened the batting with Lahiru Thirimanne because of Karunaratne's extended stay off the field with an injury during New Zealand's innings.
Thirimanne was run out before Sri Lanka had scored and Kusal Perera (0) was caught behind by BJ Watling off fast bowler Trent Boult, leaving Sri Lanka two down for four runs.
Sri Lanka lost its third wicket with the total 11 when Angelo Mathews (7) fended an outswinger from seamer Colin de Grandhomme to Ross Taylor at slip.
Dhananjaya de Silva (1), who scored a century for Sri Lanka in the first innings, stepped out against left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel to drive on the on side but only managed to give a catch to Southee at slip.
William Somerville bowled Kusal Mendis for 20 runs, with an impeccable off spinner. The well-flighted delivery drew the right-hander forward outside off stump to defend and the ball turned sharply after pitching, sneaked through bat and pad to hit off stump.
The New Zealanders batted for 25 minutes earlier Monday before declaring at 431-5, having added 49 to their overnight total to extend the lead to 187. Sri Lanka made 244 in its first innings
De Grandhomme was out for 83 on the second delivery of day five, without adding to his overnight score, when he was caught off left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya's bowling.
He faced just 77 deliveries and smashed five sixes and five boundaries to give New Zealand the advantage.
Watling posted his seventh test century and remained unbeaten on 105, including nine boundaries. Southee hit two sixes and two boundaries to reach 24 in a 10-ball cameo.
Off spinner Dilruwan Perera returned 3-114 and Embuldeniya was even more expensive with 2-156.
Sri Lanka won the first test by six wickets in Galle. A win here for New Zealand will draw the two-test series.