Sri Lanka in fight to survive against in-form New Zealand

Sri Lanka were fighting for survival in the first Test against New Zealand Saturday after being decimated by a lethal Blackcaps` swing attack in their first innings and forced to follow on.

AFP| Updated: Dec 27, 2014, 12:10 PM IST
Sri Lanka in fight to survive against in-form New Zealand

Christchurch: Sri Lanka were fighting for survival in the first Test against New Zealand Saturday after being decimated by a lethal Blackcaps` swing attack in their first innings and forced to follow on.

Trent Boult started the rout when he removed Dimuth Karunaratne for nought with the fourth ball of the innings.

Sri Lanka were all out 42 overs later for a dismal 138, 303 runs behind New Zealand`s first innings total of 441.

At stumps on day two, Sri Lanka were 84 without loss in their second innings requiring a further 219 runs to make New Zealand bat again.

Karunaratne was not out 49 with Kaushal Silva unbeaten on 33 after batting through the final session

Boult, the chief destroyer in Sri Lanka`s first innings with figures of three for 25 off 11 overs, was unfortunate not to have Karunaratne cheaply in the second when he was dropped on 10 by substitute Cole McConchie.

New Zealand resumed the second morning at 429-7 and lost their last three wickets for a cheap 12 runs in 32 balls.

The quick end signalled that the bowlers had found how to exploit the green-tinged surface and 13 wickets fell in two sessions after the batsmen led by New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum (195) had dominated the first day.

Boult ripped through Sri Lanka`s top order in a pre-lunch onslaught taking Karunaratne, for his 100th Test dismissal, then Silva for four and dangerman Kumar Sangakarra for six.

Sangakkara was six runs short of becoming only the fifth player to reach 12,000 Test runs when he was beaten by late swinging Boult delivery that caught an outside edge and was snapped up by Tim Southee at third slip.

Southee split the webbing between the thumb and forefinger of his left hand securing the catch and required five stitches.

But the injury did not affect his right-arm deliveries and after a tight but fruitless opening spell he joined the action after lunch, claiming Lahiru Thirimanne (24) and Niroshan Dickwella (two) in the space of four balls.

Neil Wagner chimed in with the wickets of Prasanna Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews and Tharindu Kaushal before Jimmy Neesham mopped up the tail with the wickets of Dhammika Prasad and Suranga Lakmal.

Amid the carnage, only Mathews carried the fight to New Zealand as he raced from 40 to his 19th half-century with a four and six off successive deliveries from Wagner.

But his belligerence was to prove his downfall when he charged at Wagner a third time and skied a top edge to Tom Latham at third man.

In addition to Boult`s impressive figures, Wagner took three for 60, Southee two for 17 and Neesham two for 28.

New Zealand`s first innings folded tamely with only Mark Craig, not out 12, offering token resistance as Mathews and Lakmal removed Southee and Boult without scoring.

Lakmal also removed Wagner for four to finish with three for 90 while the more economical Mathews took three for 39.