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Sri Lanka vs New Zealand 2nd Test 2nd Day: New Zealand 159-5 vs Sri Lanka

By on August 27, 2009

Sri Lanka vs New Zealand - Thilan Samaraweera

New Zealand 159 for 5 (Taylor 70*, McCullum 5*, Thushara 2-37) trail Sri Lanka 416 (Samaraweera 143, Mahela Jayawardene 92, Sangakkara 50, Patel 4-78) by 257 runs…

Sri Lanka retained the upper hand on day two of the second test against New Zealand, reducing the visitors to 159-5 at stumps Thursday despite Ross Taylor’s gritty half-century.

Taylor, unbeaten on 70 at the close, waged a lone battle as New Zealand attempted to match Sri Lanka’s first innings score of 416. He faced 118 balls and hit nine boundaries.

The Black Caps started their reply poorly, falling to 3-63.

Seamer Dammika Prasad made the first breakthrough, taking a wicket with his first ball by trapping Tim McIntosh (5) leg before.

Martin Guptill and Daniel Flynn added 35 runs for the second wicket before left-arm seamer Thilan Thushara forced an edge from Flynn (13) to wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardena.

Guptill (35) made a start but didn’t go on with it, out shortly after tea trying to pull Thushara and caught by Muttiah Muralitharan.

After his departure, Taylor and Jesse Ryder showed resilience with an 83-run partnership for the fourth wicket. But left-arm spinner Rangana Herath intervened to end the threatening stand by having Ryder (23) caught at forward short leg by Tharanga Paranavitana.

Night watchman Jeetan Patel (1) was soon out, caught by Mahela Jayawardene off Muralitharan as the Black Caps plunged to 149-5.

Wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum was unbeaten at stumps on 5.

Thushara finished the day with 2-37 while Prasad, Herath and Muralitharan took a wicket each.

Earlier, New Zealand’s bowlers did well to polish off Sri Lanka’s lower order quickly after the hosts threatened a huge score backed by a solid 143 from Thilan Samaraweera.

New Zealand offspinner Jeetan Patel picked up three wickets in the middle session and finished with 4-78 to hasten Sri Lanka’s collapse after the hosts had been strongly placed at 372-5 at lunch.

Patel was happy that his persistence with the ball had paid off but disappointed that his team’s batting had failed.

“It just shows that if we stick to our tasks as we did… they do give us opportunities and I think we took them really well,” Patel said.

“(But I’m) a little disappointed to lose a couple of wickets. Especially myself being night watchman,” Patel added.
Samaraweera, who had batted cautiously, tried to reverse-sweep Patel only to get a top edge that was caught by McCullum.

Samaraweera faced 240 balls and hit 17 boundaries and a six for his 11th test hundred and became the second batsman to score more than 1,000 test runs this year, along with England’s Andrew Strauss.

But Samaraweera had outperformed Strauss by scoring the runs in seven less innings, and at an average of more than 95.

This year was eventful for Samaraweera, who scored back-to-back double hundreds in Pakistan before sustaining a bullet wound in the thigh in a terrorist attack on the team’s bus in March.

“I am really happy about the year and getting 1000 runs,” Samaraweera said. “I thought after the Lahore incident that I can never play cricket.”

He said advice from coaches during a 20-month period when he was dropped from the side after a poor tour of England helped him change his outlook, making him more aggressive and hungry for big scores.

“Looking to score runs is the main ambition, not staying at the wicket. That’s changed everything for me.”
He said Sri Lanka wants to end New Zealand’s first innings with a lead close to 150.

In the morning session, New Zealand seamer Iain O’Brien ended a 180-run partnership between Samaraweera and Mahela Jayawardene by dismissing Jayawardene for 92.

Jayawardene chased a ball away from his body and was caught behind by McCullum. He played more cautiously than usual, spending more than five hours at the crease facing 234 balls and hitting just eight boundaries.

Vettori, who on Wednesday reached a rare double by taking his 300th test wicket to add to 3,000 test runs, finished with 3-104.

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