Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Samaraweera keeps Kiwis at bay

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Colombo: Thilan Samaraweera hit a half-century under pressure to lead Sri Lanka’s recovery on the third day of the second and final Test against New Zealand at the P Sara Oval in Colombo on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka were in big trouble on 103-5 before finishing the day on 225-6 in reply to New Zealand’s first-innings 412, thanks to the middle-order batsman’s defiant and patient 76 not out off 156 deliveries.

Samaraweera, who had injured his finger while fielding, received valuable support from lower-order batsman Suraj Randiv who made a resolute 102-ball 34 not out, his highest score in 12 Tests.

The pair have so far added 97 and helped their team avoid the follow-on.

But the tourists were in control when bad light stopped play with 25.4 overs remaining in the day.

Sri Lanka, leading the series 1-0 following their 10-wicket win in the opening Test, are still 187 behind with a mere four wickets in hand.

Fast bowler Tim Southee, who took two wickets in an over on Monday, had Sri Lanka – resuming on 43-3 – in trouble in the morning when he struck twice before Samaraweera and Randiv steadied the innings.

Southee has so far taken four wickets for 51 off 19 overs. (AFP)

Brief scores:

NZ 1st inn: 412 all out

SL 1st inn: 225-6 (T Samaraweera 76 batting; T Southee 4-51)

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