New Zealand 431 (Guptill 156, Williamson 88, McCullum 75, Pradeep 4-112) and 171 for 1 (Latham 72*) lead Sri Lanka 294 (Karunaratne 84, Chandimal 83) by 308 runs
New Zealand have strengthen their hold on the first Test on day 3 with a lead of 308 runs with nine wickets in hand and two days still remaining in the game. It was a tuff day for the visitors with overcast, cold and windy or say a typical Kiwi’s condition.
The start of the day’s play was horrible for Sri Lanka. Tim Southee dismissed Dinesh Chandimal on the second delivery of the day. The ball seamed away after pitching on off and Martin Guptill completed an excellent diving catch at the second slip. Sri Lanka lost the other overnight batsmen in Southee’s second over. Kithuruwan Vithanage chased a wide delivery which was going further away to give an easy catch to BJ Watling. This was BJ Watling’s fifth catch of this inning. From 209 for 6, Milinda Siriwardana and Rangana Herath added 43 runs for the seventh wicket. Siriwardana played some good shots against the fast bowlers to turn the momentum. Then, New Zealand implemented the short ball theory which they often ploy against sub continent batsmen. Then Siriwardana fended a short delivery of Wagner to Ross Taylor in the slips. Sri Lanka were eventually dismissed for 294 in 117.1 overs - a commendable period of time for such a raw batting line-up - having added 97 for 6 on the third day, conceding a first-innings lead of 137.
Sri Lanka faced hard time in bowling again when they came out to ball in New Zealand’s second inning. Angelo Mathews had men on the boundary line right from the start of the inning. Openers took full advantage of their defensive approach. They played risk free cricket before tea but raised the tempo in the final session of the day. Martin Guptill was dropped twice on 19 and 42 by Kusal Mendis and Suranga Lakmal respectively. Guptill targeted the left arm spinner Herath from his first over and accumulated 39 runs from his 8 overs. But finally Herath had the last laugh against Guptill as he bowled him for 46. Openers added 79 runs for the first wicket. Williamson joined Latham on the crease and the pair started scoring freely in the last session. Latham ended the day unbeaten on 72 and Williamson on 48. They added 92 runs together at 4.27 runs per over.