Favourites Sri Lanka precariously placed in first Test against Kiwis
By Staff Writers | November 18, 2012
Mahela Jayawardene fell nine runs short of a century. © AFP
Sri Lanka were in trouble at the end of the second day of the first Test match against New Zealand in Galle, a venue that has proved to be a happy hunting ground for the hosts.
New Zealand, who haven't won a Test since January, are well poised to pick up a rare Test win, as the series opener hangs in the balance thanks to a poor showing with the bat by the home side in their first innings.
In response to New Zealand's first innings score of 221, Sri Lanka could only manage a slender lead of 26, and they finished with 247 all out on a wicket that kept all bowlers interested.
Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene fell nine runs short of a Test century, which would have been his 32nd Test hundred, but he helped revive the innings after the quick fall of wickets by adding a 156-run partnership with Angelo Mathews (79).
Kiwi paceman Tim Southee picked up 4/65, while off spinner Jeetan Patel took 3/55 for the visitors with the ball.
New Zealand's batsmen are now in a position to take the game away from Sri Lanka, provided they bat with more purpose than they did in their first innings.
Brendon McCullum fell to Rangana Herath, and was the only wicket to fall at the end of the day's play in New Zealand's second innings. They go into day three on 35/1 and a lead of nine runs.
© Island Cricket