New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test | New Zealand close to victory and Sri Lanka trail by 303 to follow on
New Zealand players celebrate the wicket of Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne on day three of the 2nd Test cricket match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on March 19, 2023. photo credit: AFP
Sri Lanka bowled out New Zealand for 303 with eight wickets in hand in their second innings on the third day of the second Test at the Basin Reserve on Sunday.
Declaring on 580-4 on the second day, New Zealand dismissed Sri Lanka for 164 in their first innings and were able to enforce the follow-on at the same ground on which they beat England by one run the previous month Was.
Sri Lanka were 113-2 at stumps with Kusal Mendis on 50 not out and Angelo Mathews on one.
Mendis made a 10-ball duck in the first innings but brought up his 17th half-century off 96 balls just before the end of play.
Captain Dimuth Karunaratne played a big role for Sri Lanka on Sunday and was at the crease for most of the third day.
He was there when play began and Sri Lanka were 26–2 and after top-scoring with 89, was his last wicket to fall before Sri Lanka’s first innings ended 416 runs behind New Zealand.
Karunaratne then went back to the crease and batted for most of the last two sessions, before he was dismissed for the second time in the day 30 minutes before stumps. Overall he batted for just over seven hours and his efforts have provided the backbone of both Sri Lanka’s innings so far.
Sri Lanka lost two wickets in the first five overs of the third day and trailed 34–4 before Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal were able to stabilize the first innings. The pair added 80 runs for the fifth wicket and Karunaratne brought up his 33rd half-century off 114 balls.
Chandimal made 37 before suffering a rush of blood to the head, which forced him to charge spinner Michael Bracewell. He was well beyond his crease when the ball spun between bat and pad, and Tom Blundell completed a simple stumping.
Bracewell found turn and bounce on the pitch on the third day at the Basin Reserve and took 3-50 as Sri Lanka’s first innings turned sharply after the dismissal of Chandimal. The last six wickets fell for 50 runs.
“I think the target coming out this morning was to get 10 wickets and assess where we are. To enforce the follow on and get them down to two, we really wanted to get away from it,” said New Zealand seamer Matt Henry. Happy.”
“I think the bowlers were clear (about the follow-on). You ask what is the best way to win a Test match and I think it was a bit mind boggling. We all felt fresh and were confident that we could get the job done.”
New Zealand got an early breakthrough in the second innings when opener Oshada Fernando was dismissed for 5 with the total at 26–1. With the bat right in front of his body, Fernando tried to flick the ball over the leg side but edged out substitute fieldsman Will Young, who was the only fielder.
Karunaratne completed the second half-century of the match in 81 balls. He started the day with 32 Test 50s and ended with 34.
But he was dismissed just after reaching the milestone, pulling a short ball from Tim Southee to Devon Conway at deep mid-wicket for the boundary.
The crowd at Basin Reserve has now witnessed two successive Tests in which the follow-on was enforced. New Zealand were on the receiving end in the second Test against England last month, but managed to get England to bat again and bowl out the tourists to claim a famous one-run victory.
Following New Zealand’s two-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the first Test, achieved on the last ball of the match, New Zealand fans were faced with two extraordinary tests. Whether the current test adds another chapter to a sensational heat will be determined one way or another on Monday, the fourth day.
To add to the potential drama, rain has been predicted in the afternoon.