August 14, 2022
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    Dimuth stars as Sri Lanka sniff victory

    August 18, 2019

    Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne held centre stage in Sri Lanka’s pursuit of victory in the first Test against New Zealand at the Galle Stadium.Unbeaten on 71 (168 balls, 4×2) at the close, he has taken his team to a position where victory is almost assured (barring those glorious uncertainties).Lahiru Thirimanne also prospered late in his innings. He gave Karunaratne a head start, but caught up later. Some of the gloss was taken off their efforts by some poor catching by New Zealand in a period of about 15 minutes when four chances were put down.

    New Zealand looked to Patel and Somerville to deliver. Somerville extracted a lot of turn, but his line was too far outside off. Patel was quick and in contrast he was easier to play. Surprisingly, Williamson did not switch his spinners around, but seemed to wait for a wicket to fall.Spinner Lasith Embuldeniya was consistent, to claim four Kiwi scalps Karunaratne had his spin pairing on first thing in the morning, but changed his mind for the third over. Lakmal bowled an economical but largely unproductive spell. Dhananjaya at gully failed to scoop up an edge off Lakmal. That was the nearest the Sri Lankans came to separating the pair.Watling swept Embuldeniya for four to add to his overnight score of 63. Somerville, slightly late on a faster delivery from the left armer, first about managed to steer it through slip and gully for another boundary.
    After around 55 minutes, Kumara with his greater pace and life, induced Watling to feather an edge to the keeper. Unlike his terribly rash first innings effort, this innings by Watling was one of discipline and resolution. Without it, the Sri Lankans would have been home and dry lunch yesterday.Boult fond no terrors in the spin of Embuldeniya, on driving and then scooping through mid-wicket for fours. Somerville, wisely, gave his more entertaining partner his head. Boult’s innings was never meant to last and it came as no surprise when he steered a rising ball into the hands of the fielder at third man. His cameo produced 26 runs in 39 minutes, and had three fours and a six.
    Somerville made a courageous, unbeaten 40 in the course of which he showed that the pitch was entirely battable. He, together with Boult and Patel refused to lie down and die. Instead, they added 61 for the last two wickets. These were runs that could be decisive in the final reckoning. Singles were a dime a dozen when the Sri Lankan openers set off on their pursuit of the 268-run target. It took around 90 minutes for the first boundary – a square cut by Karunaratne off Somerville.
    Henry Nicholls obliges fans' request for photographs after the end of Day 4 play Frustration seemed to creep in. Karunartne swept at Santner and the top edge was wide of Boult. The bowlers were not giving too many away. But for the Kiwis, the lack of a wicket a two must have been a source of worry. Somerville got turned and bounce and his first nine overs went for just 12. The off spinner gave away another four, employing a 7-2 field, with no deep square leg. Thirimmanne capitalized.

    Karunaratne led the way as the Sri Lankans took tea on 76-0. Thirimanne played second fiddle, as his skipper stroked his way to a 113-ball fifty. Well over half his runs were obtained on the on-side. He picked his singles behind square regularly and when he felt confident, came down the track to Somerville and lofted for four. A copy book cover drive for four off Southee dully followed.
    The visitors had a horror period just after Tea when Watling and Latham contrived to give three or four chances to the openers. Patel and Somerville were the sufferers.
    Sri Lanka v New Zealand scorecard
    New Zealand first innings 249 all out
    Sri Lanka first innings 267 all out
    New Zealand second innings (overnight 195-7)
    Jeet Raval c Karunaratne b De Silva 4
    (Reaches out to drive, ends up chipping it straight to cover)
    Tom Latham c Thirimanne b Dananjaya 45
    (Length ball outside off, gets forward to defend, rips onto the outside edge)
    Kane Williamson c Perera b Embuldeniya 4
    (Tosses up at off stump, goes down the pitch and hits straight, well caught by Kusal Perera)
    Ross Taylor c De Silva b Embuldeniya 3
    (Runs down the pitch to an extremely wide length ball outside off, ball turns away with a thick edge to first slip)
    Henry Nicholls c Mendis b De Silva 26
    (Sharp turn, looks to defend but dips on him and caught at slips)
    B.J. Watling c Dickwella b Kumara 77
    (Touched one a shade outside off stump)
    Mitchell Santner c Lakmal b Embuldeniya 12
    (Moved to leg and top-edged, cut to third man’s hand)
    Tim Southee st Dickwella b Embuldeniya 23
    (Flighted and dipped delivery, steps steps out to drive, beaten comprehensively by sharp turn)
    William Somerville not out 40
    Trent Boult c De Silva b Kumara 26
    (Gives himself room to play a shot, caught at third man)
    Ajaz Patel lbw b De Silva 14
    (Pushed forward down wrong line)
    Extras (nb 2, b 4, lb 5) 11
    Total: (all out; 106 overs) 285
    Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Raval, 7.4), 2-20 (Williamson, 14.4), 3-25 (Taylor, 16.3), 4-81 (Latham, 27.5), 5-98 (Nicholls, 39.2), 6-124 (Santner, 49.3), 7-178 (Southee, 69.5), 8-224 (Watling, 90.3), 9-260 (Boult, 98.2), 10-285 (Patel, 105.6).
    Bowling: Suranga Lakmal 15-2-37-0 (2nb), Akila Dananjaya 32-4-84-1, Dhananjaya de Silva 12-3-25-3, Lasith Embuldeniya 37-4-99-4, Lahiru Kumara 10-0-31-2
    Sri Lanka second innings (target 268)
    Dimuth Karunaratne not out 71
    Lahiru Thirimanne not out 57
    Extras: (b 4, lb 1 )5
    Total: (for no loss, 50 overs, 202 mins) 133
    To bat: Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera,
    Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara and Suranga Lakmal.
    Bowling: Trent Boult 6-1-21-0, Tim Southee 5-1-8-0, William Somerville 20-5-36-0, Ajaz Patel 10-0-37-0, Mitchell Santner 9-1-26-0.
    Toss: New Zealand Umpires:
    Michael Gough and Richard Illingworth (England)
    Third umpire: Bruce Oxenford (Australia)

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