Karunaratne steadies Sri Lanka on day 3 1st test vs. NZ

Wellington, Mar 19 (AP) Captain Dimuth Karunaratne posted his 33rd half century as Sri Lanka worked hard to loosen New Zealand’s grip on the second cricket test on its third day Sunday.
    Sri Lanka resumed at 26-2 in reply to New Zealand’s formidable 580-4 declared and lost two wickets in the first five overs to slump to 34-4 before Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal steadied the innings.
    At lunch Karunaratne was 63 not out, Chandimal was on 33 and Sri Lanka was 109-4, still trailing by 471 runs.
    After a first day which was shortened by rain and bad light, New Zealand dominated the second day as Kane Williamson posted his sixth double century and Henry Nicholls his first.
    Sri Lanka faced 17 overs before stumps Saturday and lost opener Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis, slipping to 18-2 before Karunarate saw his team to stumps without further damage.
    The nightwatchman Prabath Jayasuriya was out in the second over of the day Sunday for four, caught at first slip by Daryl Mitchell from seamer Tim Southee.
    New Zealand made an important strike when it dismissed Angelo Mathews three overs later for one. Mathews followed a ball from Matt Henry which was wide of off stump and feathered a catch to wicketkeeper Tom Blundell.
    His was an important wicket because he made 47 and 115 in the first test and has been the best of Sri Lanka’s batsmen this tour.
    Karunaratne had a nervous moment just before lunch when he played at a ball from Doug Bracewell, bowling over the wicket, which was full and going across him. There was a slight noise as the ball passed the bat on the way to Blundell and New Zealand’s appeal was upheld by umpire Richard Illingworth.
    Karunaratne immediately called for the review and replays showed clear air between the bat and ball but a slight spike on snicko as the ball passed. The decision was overturned and Karunaratne, then on 60, survived.
    His batting in the first session otherwise was faultless. He played often into the leg side between mid-wicket and mid-on with deft flicks off his pads.
    But he also batted outside his crease at times to create half volleys which he pounded down the ground.
    By lunch Karunaratne’s partnership with Chandimal was worth 70 runs. Sri Lanka added 78 runs in the first session at the cost of two wickets. (AP) ATK

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)