Monday, June 24, 2024
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Jayawardene helps Sri Lanka gain slender lead

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Galle: Mahela Jayawardene cracked an impressive 91 to lead Sri Lanka’s fightback on an absorbing second day of the opening Test against New Zealand here on Sunday.

Sri Lanka were in deep trouble at 50-5 following fast bowler Tim Southee’s three-wicket burst in the morning before posting 247 in their first innings in reply to New Zealand’s 221.

The tourists reached 35-1 in their second innings at stumps after losing hard-hitting opener Brendon McCullum, caught by Nuwan Kulasekara off left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who was pressed into the attack after three overs.

The match is evenly poised at this stage, with New Zealand nine runs ahead with as many wickets in hand.

Skipper Jayawardene and vice-captain Angelo Mathews (79) earlier propped up the innings with a 156-run stand for the sixth wicket.

The hosts looked like gaining a big lead when they reached 206-5 but lost their last five wickets, including those of well-set Jayawardene and Mathews, for 41 runs. (AFP)

Brief scores:

NZ 1st inn: 221 all out

SL 1st inn: 247 all out (M Jayawardene 91; T Southee 4-46)

NZ 2nd inn: 35-1 (M Guptill 13 not out; R Herath 1-13)

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