New Zealand build 166-run lead over Sri Lanka
12 December 2015, Nirapad News: New Zealand held a healthy 166-run lead at tea on the third day of the first Test after shutting down Sri Lanka for 294 in their first innings in Dunedin on Saturday.
At the break, New Zealand were 29 without loss in their second innings with Martin Guptill on 16 and Tom Latham 13.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews surprised by taking the new ball himself, putting his medium pacers in partnership with recognised quick Suranga Lakmal, but neither was able to shake the New Zealand openers. On a blustery, overcast day, New Zealand cleaned up the final six Sri Lankan first innings wickets for 97 after the tourists resumed the day at 197-4 in reply to New Zealand’s 431.
They made the best possible start to the morning when Tim Southee removed overnight pair Dinesh Chandimal (83) and Kithuruwan Vithanage (22) in his first two overs.
Sri Lanka had pinned their hopes on Chandimal leading them to a competitive total but he was unable to add to his overnight score.
However, New Zealand hopes that his dismissal would see them batting again before lunch were dashed when Milinda Siriwardana and Rangana Herath produced a stubborn 43-run stand for the seventh wicket.
The 30-year-old Siriwardana, a late developer who made his Test debut only two months ago, had a reprieve on 29 when he was caught by a leaping Doug Bracewell on the long-leg boundary.
Siriwardana’s apparent dismissal turned into a six when Bracewell fell backwards over the boundary rope.
However, Siriwardana was not to score again as four balls later he edged Neil Wagner to Ross Taylor at first slip.
New Zealand mounted a sustained short-ball attack to dislodge Herath who faced 74 deliveries and took a cruel blow to the head before he was dislodged, top-edging Wagner to a diving Trent Boult at long leg.
The innings ended when leg-spinner Mitchell Santner had Nuwan Pradeep caught behind to give wicketkeeper BJ Watling his sixth catch of the innings.
It is the second time the South African-born Watling has taken six catches in an innings, one short of the Test record of seven jointly held by Pakistan’s Wasim Bari, New Zealander Ian Smith and England’s Bob Taylor.
For New Zealand, Southee took three for 71 and Wagner three for 87.