Chameera blitz rocks New Zealand
19 December 2015, Nirapad News: Dushmantha Chameera spearheaded a four wicket blitz, which included the prized scalp of Kane Williamson, as Sri Lanka roared back into the second Test against New Zealand in Hamilton on Saturday.
The home team slumped from 81-0 to 89-4 in a four-over burst, and by tea were struggling at 133-5 in reply to Sri Lanka’s first innings 292.
The 20-year-old Chameera, bowling at up to 146 kilometres per hour (90.6 mph), destroyed the top order as he claimed the wickets of Williamson, Tom Latham and Ross Taylor.
Rangana Herath chimed in to remove Martin Guptill for 50 before Brendon McCullum and Mitchell Santner briefly steadied the ship.
They added 39 runs until Kusal Mendis took a one-handed catch at short leg to give Herath his second wicket, and McCullum was gone for 18.
Not out at tea were Santner on 22 with BJ Watling yet to score.
McCullum had previously been given out on 17 when caught on the boundary by Udara Jayasundera, but as the New Zealand skipper began to walk he was recalled when video replays showed the Nuwan Pradeep delivery was a no ball.
Until Chameera’s heroics early in the middle session, the day had belonged to New Zealand.
They rolled Sri Lanka for 292 and progressed to 61-0 in reply at lunch.
The pitch, which was a lush green at the start of the Test, was browning off — in theory taking the advantage away from the bowlers.
But Chameera, who was not used before lunch, relished the opportunity to attack the New Zealand batsmen after the interval, consistently bowling a short-pitched barrage.
He struck for the first time in his second over, aiming for the hips, and Latham on 28 turned the ball straight to Dimuth Karunaratne at leg gully.
In Chameera’s next over, Williamson did not get the length he wanted trying to pull a short ball to the boundary and was caught by Suranga Lakmal at deep square leg for one.
Herath then had Guptill caught at first slip by Angelo Mathews before a Chameera short ball angled away from Taylor who gloved it to Dinesh Chandimal for a duck.
Chameera took three for 17 in his seven-over spell.
Where New Zealand folded at the top, Sri Lanka made a bold start to the Test before crumbling when they reached 259-4.
Their last six wickets fell for just 33 runs.
Mathews, who passed the 4,000-run milestone during his innings, reached 77 before he was the first wicket to fall on day two, edging Tim Southee to a diving Latham at third slip.
Chameera and Lakmal made four apiece and Pradeep was not out two.
Southee finished with three for 63 while Trent Boult and Doug Bracewell took two wickets each.