Chameera takes three as NZ BP XI openers shine
New Zealand Board President's XI 288 for 7 (Smith 81, Popli 79, Chameera 3-52) lead Sri Lankans 193 (Karunaratne 93, Johnston 4-43, Wagner 3-31) by 95 runs
Fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera's 3 for 52 and opener Dimuth Karunaratne's 93 were the highlights in another modest day for the Sri Lankans in their three-day tour match in Queenstown. The NZC President's XI took a 95-run lead at the end of day two, having dismissed the Sri Lankans for 193, then hitting 288 for 7 on the back of a brisk 179-run opening stand. Ben Smith struck 81 from 108 balls, and Bharat Popli made 79 from 137.
The Sri Lankans began the day on 97 for 5, having lost four wickets for eight runs the previous evening. They quickly resumed losing batsmen, as both Milinda Siriwardana and Kusal Perera were dismissed for 1. A 59-run stand between Rangana Herath (34) and Karunaratne helped push the visitors towards respectability, but the tail fell quickly after Karunaratne's dismissal for 93.
Offspinner Tim Johnston picked up the innings' best figures, with 4 for 43 from 16 overs, but New Zealand will also be pleased with Neil Wagner's outing. The left-arm seamer, who is in the New Zealand Test squad, took 3 for 31 from his 16 overs.
The President's XI openers had raced to 179 from 38.3 overs before Chameera made the Sri Lankans' first breakthrough. He was the only Sri Lankan seamer to take a wicket. Legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay and left-arm spinner Siriwardana took one each, while Kusal Perera claimed two in something of a Sri Lankan resurgence. The visitors took six wickets for 42, but then conceded a 51-run partnership to the seventh-wicket pair, towards the end of the day.