Karunaratne and Thirimanne put Sri Lanka in sight of victory with record stand

By Sports Desk August 17, 2019

Sri Lanka put themselves in a strong position to win the first Test against New Zealand as their run chase began with an unbroken century stand.

Set 268 for victory in Galle, Sri Lanka were handsomely placed on 133-0 when fading light stopped play late on day four.

Dimuth Karunaratne reached 71 not out and Lahiru Thirimanne was undefeated on 57, in what was already a record first-wicket partnership for Sri Lanka in the fourth innings of a Test.

New Zealand, who sit second in the ICC Test rankings, stretched their overnight lead of 177 to 267, with BJ Watling adding 14 to his overnight score before being caught behind for 77 by Niroshan Dickwella off Lahiru Kumara.

William Somerville made an unbeaten 40, with Trent Boult cracking a rapid 26 and last man Ajaz Patel weighing in with 14, the lower-order batting success in the innings of 285 all out suggesting it was a wicket ripe for scoring on Saturday.

That was how it continued to look as Sri Lanka began chasing down their target, although Tim Southee and Trent Boult gave Karunaratne and Thirimanne cause for early worry.

Thirimanne was well beaten by a ball from Southee that narrowly cleared off stump, before moments later Karunaratne almost nicked a delicious delivery from Boult.

It was often Karunaratne who was riding his luck, and it was not until the 22nd over that Sri Lanka, ranked sixth among Test nations, registered a boundary.

Later, Watling could not cling to a difficult chance as Karunaratne got a bottom edge off Somerville, the ball going through the wicketkeeper to bring up the two runs that took him to a half-century.

Tom Latham at short leg missed out on a sharp chance as Karunaratne used up another life, and the same batsman was fortunate not to be stumped by Watling in the next over.

Somerville, a 35-year-old off-spinner playing just his second Test match, took three first-innings wickets and was unlucky to gain no further reward as Sri Lanka edged towards their target in the gathering gloom.

Related items

  • Gordon five-for helps Jamaica Scorpions break Leewards resistance Gordon five-for helps Jamaica Scorpions break Leewards resistance

    A five-for from Jamaica Scorpions pacer Nicholson Gordon helped unlocked the stubborn resistance of Leewards Hurricanes, in a 5 wickets triumph, in the West Indies Championship.

    Resuming the day at 134 for 4, the Hurricanes were eventually all out for a battling 294 and leaving the Scorpions needing 137 to win.  In response, an unbeaten 66 from 48 from Nkruma Bonner, who received support in the form of 38 off 34 from Jermaine Blackwood was good enough for the Scorpions to surpass the total at 137 for 5.

    Earlier, Jahmar Hamilton (12) and Terrence Ward (20) were the ones to resume the Leewards fight and added a useful 5th wicket partnership of 110.  With the team seemingly on the way to a 300 plus total, the partnership was broken when Hamilton was bowled on 54 by Bonner.  Ward was the next to go as he was caught by Dennis Smith, on 74, off the bowling of Nicholas Gordon. 

    Rahkeem Cornwall added 22 before being another victim of Gordon as the Leewards lost momentum and crashed at 294 all out.

  • Lendl Simmons, Rayad Emrit confirmed for Guyana's Golden T20 Bash Lendl Simmons, Rayad Emrit confirmed for Guyana's Golden T20 Bash

    International T20 stars Rayad Emrit and Lendl Simmons have been confirmed for the Golden Republic T20 Bash set for February 21, 2020, at the Guyana National Stadium in Providence.

  • Faf du Plessis steps down as South Africa captain Faf du Plessis steps down as South Africa captain

    Faf du Plessis has stepped down as the Test and Twenty20 captain of South Africa.

    The 35-year-old was replaced by Quinton de Kock as ODI captain in January and, with immediate effect, no longer leads the Proteas in any form of the game.

    Du Plessis wants to continue contributing as a batsman and senior player and will advise the new leadership group as of the team's succession planning, Cricket South Africa said in a statement on Monday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.