Jatin ∙ Mar 19 2023, 6:16 AM

NZ vs SL: New Zealand Bowlers Run Riot To Push Sri Lanka On The Verge Of Defeat

image-lfezpyubNew Zealand bowlers have dominated Sri Lankan batters in the second Test (Twitter)

New Zealand have, once again, demonstrated their dominance on Day 3 of the second Test in Wellington as they effectively dismantled Sri Lanka. The hosts exhibited their proficiency in bowling by effortlessly dismissing Sri Lanka in the first innings for a paltry 164 runs.

With such an imposing lead of 416 runs, New Zealand enforced the follow-on, rendering Sri Lanka in an even more precarious situation. However, the latter displayed some resilience in the second innings, as they went into Stumps at 113/2.

How the battle panned out?

image-lff04wiwDimuth Karunaratne was the lone warrior for SL [Source: Twitter]

Upon recommencing Day 3 of the match at 26/2, the Sri Lankan team lost two quick wickets of nightwatchman Prabath Jayasuriya and Angelo Mathews, dwindling their score to 34/4 during the morning session. 

Nonetheless, amidst the domination by the New Zealand bowlers, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne displayed an intense and resilient partnership for the fifth wicket.

Unfortunately, after the lunch break, Chandimal's fortitude shrunk as he played an imprudent shot against Michael Bracewell and was eventually stumped, having scored 37 off 92 balls. Consequently, the Lankan batters failed to deliver and proved futile, with the exception of their captain, who fought a lone battle.

As a result, the hosts relentlessly took the final six wickets with ease, and even Karunaratne, who had played an exceptional inning of 87 off 188 balls, eventually faltered and miscued a ball towards long-off, failing to achieve his century. 

Ultimately, the visitors were bowled out for a measly 164, continuing to trail a humongous 416 runs behind their adversaries.

The hosts' bowlers, Matt Henry and Michael Bracewell, exhibited exceptional skills and dexterity, claiming three wickets apiece. New Zealand skipper Tim Southee decided to enforce follow-on.

In response, the Sri Lankan openers exercised caution as they navigated the treacherous phase before the Tea break without any harm, recording a score of 12/0 after nine overs. 

However, the advent of the final session saw the visitors lose their opener Oshada Fernando for a measly five runs, courtesies of Doug Bracewell.

Subsequently, Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis resurrected the innings, exhibiting a resilient 71-run partnership. Nonetheless, the Sri Lankan captain's fortunes were ephemeral as his English adversary showed him the door shortly after crossing the fifty-run mark, plummeting the visitors to 97/2.

Matthews proceeded to join Mendis at the crease, and the two cricketers successfully thwarted the Kiwi bowling attack for the next twelve overs, ensuring that their side did not concede any more wickets.

As the third day of play came to a halt, Sri Lanka's scorecard read 113/2, still facing an enormous 303-run deficit. Only an incredible stroke of luck and a colossal effort from the Sri Lankan batsmen can help them escape from this precarious predicament.

If the experienced pair of Mathews and Mendis wants to have any shot at making New Zealand bat again, they will have to stand tall and play impeccably. On the other hand, the Kiwi bowlers will be itching to dismiss one of these batters, which would open the floodgates and enable them to bowl out the Sri Lankan side before they can overturn the mammoth deficit.

Brief Scores

Sri Lanka (1st innings): 164/10 (66.5)
Dimuth Karunaratne 89 (188), Dinesh Chandimal 37 (92);
Matt Henry 3-44, Michael Bracewell 3-50

Sri Lanka (2nd innings): 113/2 (43)
Dimuth Karunaratne 51 (83), Kusal Mendis 50 (100);
Tim Southee 1-9, Doug Bracewell 1-20

Sri Lanka trail by 303 runs.