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August 18, 2019

SL set up final day thriller against NZ


August 18, 2019

GALLE, Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s batters set the stage Saturday for a thrilling final day, reaching 133 without loss at stumps on day four as they chased 268 to beat New Zealand in the first Test in Galle.

Openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne were involved in a record opening stand of 133 runs and benefited from some sloppy fielding by the tourists.

It leaves Sri Lanka needing a further 135 runs to record their first win in the World Test Championship.

Karunaratne was unbeaten on 71 off 168 balls with two boundaries while Thirimanne was on 57 having faced 132 deliveries and hit four fours. They were in no mood to withdraw to the dressing room but bad light ended play 34 minutes before schedule.

Thirimanne reached his sixth half-century with a flick for four off Ajaz Patel.

A bat pad chance off Thirimanne when he was on 29 fell just short of short leg fielder Tom Latham. But the luckier of the two openers was Karunaratne, who was put down twice. Latham spilled a chance at short leg when he was on 58 off the bowling of Patel and in the very next over B.J. Watling missed a stumping chance off Somerville.

The duo went onto establish the highest partnership by a Sri Lankan opening pair in the fourth innings. The previous best was 110 by Roshan Mahanama and Chandika Hathurusingha against Australia at R. Premadasa Stadium in 1992.

Earlier, resuming from the overnight score of 195 for seven, New Zealand posted 285 with Watling top scoring with 77 runs. He was well supported by the tail with William Somerville hitting his highest score in first-class cricket — 40 not out.

Score Board

New Zealand won toss

New Zealand 1st Innings 249 all out (R Taylor 86; Dananjaya 5-80, Lakmal 4-29)

Sri Lanka 1st Innings 267 all out (†N Dickwella 61; Patel 5-89, Somerville 3-83)

New Zealand 2nd Innings

J Raval c Karunaratne b De Silva 4

T Latham c Thirimanne b Dananjaya 45

*K Williamson c Perera b Embuldeniya 4

R Taylor c De Silva b Embuldeniya 3

H Nicholls c Mendis b De Silva 26

†B J Watling c Dickwella b Kumara 77

M Santner c Lakmal b Embuldeniya 12

T Southee st Dickwella b Embuldeniya 23

W Somerville not out 40

T Boult c De Silva b Kumara 26

A Patel lbw b De Silva 14

Extras (nb 2, b 4, lb 5) 11

Total (all out; 106 overs) 285

Fall: 1-8, 2-20, 3-25, 4-81, 5-98, 6-124, 7-178, 8-224, 9-260, 10-285

Bowling: Lakmal 15-2-37-0 (2 nb); Dananjaya 32-4-84-1; De Silva 12-3-25-3; Embuldeniya 37-4-99-4; Kumara 10-0-31-2

Sri Lanka 2nd Innings

*D Karunaratne not out 71

L Thirimanne not out 57

Extras (b 4, lb 1) 5

Total (0 wicket; 50 overs) 133

Yet to bat: Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, †Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara and Suranga Lakmal

Bowling: Boult 6-1-21-0; Southee 5-1-8-0; Somerville 20-5-36-0; Patel 10-0-37-0; Santner 9-1-26-0

Umpire: Michael Gough and Richard Illingworth (England). TV Umpire: Bruce Oxenford (Australia). Match Referee: Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe)