Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Colombo, 2nd day

Seamers give New Zealand control

The Report by Kanishkaa Balachandran

November 26, 2012

Comments: 28 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka 43 for 3 (Mathews 20*, Southee 2-16) trail New Zealand 412 (Flynn 53, Taylor 142, Williamson 135, Herath 6-103) by 369 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Rangana Herath took two wickets before lunch, Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Colombo, 2nd day, November 26, 2012
Rangana Herath took 6 for 103 to keep New Zealand to 412 © Associated Press

After grinding out 412 in the better part of two days, New Zealand tightened their control of the second Test with an incisive spell by their seamers to nip out three wickets - the fulcrum of the top order - before stumps on the second day. A combination of poor shots and a probing line by Tim Southee and Trent Boult left Sri Lanka at 12 for 3 by the sixth over. New Zealand were just as penetrative in Galle, but the difference here was that bowlers had the cushion of runs to work with. Earlier, Rangana Herath picked up another five-wicket haul - his sixth in 2012 - to give Sri Lanka something to shout about after a tough opening day.

The New Zealand seamers managed more swing with the new ball than the hosts, but it was the straighter one that consumed Tillakaratne Dilshan. After crashing his first ball past cover, he played down the wrong line to Southee and was bowled through the gate. Two balls later, Kumar Sangakkara was surprised by a short one but went through with the hook, only to find fine leg. Mahela Jayawardene played and missed at Trent Boult, and after edging a boundary past the slips, fished at one that moved away and drove straight to Kane Williamson at gully. With the three big guns going cheaply, New Zealand couldn't have asked for a more ideal start.

After a one-sided opening day, Sri Lanka redressed the balance just when New Zealand would have entertained thoughts of posting a total in excess of 500, given the solid foundation provided by the overnight pair of Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson, who had batted nearly 97 overs across four sessions. Williamson has been praised for his temperament and ability to play spin better than his more experienced colleagues in the batting line-up. His century on the second morning was his third in his two-year career and second in the subcontinent, including a debut ton against India.

Sri Lanka's seamers did pose some questions with the new ball, getting marginally more swing than on the first morning. What Sri Lanka lacked was variety. They needed a seamer to hit the deck hard and extract bounce with the new ball.

Smart stats

  • Both Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor scored centuries in New Zealand's first innings. Overall, ten New Zealand batsmen have scored centuries in Sri Lanka.
  • This is the sixth occasion that two New Zealand batsmen have scored centuries in an innings against Sri Lanka. Three of these occasions have come in Tests in Sri Lanka.
  • New Zealand's total of 412 is their fourth-highest in Tests in Sri Lanka. It is also the fifth-highest score by a visiting team in Tests at the P Sara Oval.
  • The 262-run stand between Williamson and Taylor is the second-best for New Zealand against Sri Lanka. The highest is 467 between Martin Crowe and Andrew Jones in 1991.
  • The partnership is also the second-highest for a visiting team in Tests in Sri Lanka. The best is 287 between Azhar Ali and Mohammad Hafeez at the SSC earlier this year. It is also New Zealand's second-highest third-wicket stand.
  • In 18 innings since the start of December 2011, Kumar Sangakkara has been dismissed below ten on nine occasions. Five of his nine career ducks have come in this period.

Williamson, overnight on 95, remained watchful. He brought up his century with an outside edge that went for four to third man, the first boundary of the morning. The pair, in the process passed the New Zealand record for the highest third-wicket stand away from home, beating the 224 between John F Reid and Martin Crowe in Brisbane.

With the pitch not taking turn, only a mistake from the batsman could have yielded a wicket. Taylor moved across his stumps to sweep Herath but was caught in front of the leg stump, ending the 262-run stand. Williamson too perished in similar manner to the same bowler and Sri Lanka removed the centurions in quick succession. There was room for another breakthrough when Kruger van Wyk missed a straight one from Tillakaratne Dilshan, with the score on 291 for 5. A score of 400 seemed a long way off, but Daniel Flynn put them on that path.

After lunch, Herath struck again when he trapped the debutant Todd Astle lbw padding up to an arm ball. There was turn and bounce on the second-day pitch, but Flynn and Doug Bracewell ensured New Zealand didn't get rolled over quickly. Flynn was solid in defense, played the ball late and pushed the singles.

Jayawardene tried creating chances by placing several close fielders. Herath bowled round the wicket to Flynn with a short leg, backward short leg, short midwicket and short mid-on waiting for the chipped shot on the on side. Flynn was careful with the sweep and focused on blocking out the spin with his defense.

Bracewell was positive using his feet against the spinners but perished after holing out to deep midwicket for 24. Flynn was happy to push the singles and give the strike to the lower order, who hung around to annoy the hosts as they looked to keep New Zealand under 400. Flynn brought up his half-century by paddling a full toss shortly before the tea break. Herath wrapped up the innings shortly after tea, trapping Flynn on the backfoot and then bowling Boult, taking him one short of equaling Graeme Swann, who leads the wicket charts for 2012 with 53.

With the early burst of wickets, Sri Lanka's thoughts had turned to passing the follow on target, which is still 170 away. The other worry for Sri Lanka was that Thilan Samaraweera had injured his finger while attempting a catch at slip and didn't come out to bat.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by HawK89 on (November 27, 2012, 6:49 GMT)

Finally williamson gets some sort of form. Flynn is pretty solid in the middle order. NZ really need Guptil to find some form, hes playing down the wrong line too often and getting lbw or bowled because of it. NZ bowling has always been good, but now they are taking opportunities when the opposition is on the backfoot, instead of letting the game slide

Posted by PhaniBhaskar24 on (November 27, 2012, 6:36 GMT)

Rest Jaywardane, Sanga for a series against, say SA...Srilanka will be humiliated like anything...time to look at the domestic bunch, rather than the reliable duo of Jaya Or Sanga

Posted by shwet14 on (November 27, 2012, 5:07 GMT)

NZ bowling appears to be in good hands.. Alan Donald effect? Southee surely has benefitted a lot after working with the SAF legend. A bowler like Chris Martin is having to sit on bench shows the strangth of those who are selected. Wagner too was fairly OK in the limited openings he got. And Mark Gillespie is out with injury, who bowled so well against SAF earlier in the year. Go NZ. Mahela , I believe is on decline. He was never good outside the subcontinent even in his prime. "A tiger at home, lamb outside" fits him very well. He averages 62 at home and only 37 outside and that includes Ind, Ban & Pak. 22 hundreds at home and only 9 outside in almost same number of tests. Sanga is a real deal.

Posted by Jordanious77 on (November 27, 2012, 3:51 GMT)

Amazing bowling so far by Southee and Boult!! I can't help but feel like the black caps could be significantly strengthened with a different batting lineup however.

Watling, Guptil, Ryder, Kane Williamson, Taylor, Flynn, Mccullum, Southee, Patel/nethula, Milne, Boult.

Ryder offers a dangerous bowling option. He is deceptively quick and is a real option to take wickets. I feel would be a much better alrounder option for the black caps than Franklin or Astle (Franklin wasn't even bowling)

Milne is looking like an amazing prospect judging his last match. Bowling upwards of 150-155k and getting the ball to swing. Some improvement to his technique under bond and experience will work wonders.

And lastly, moving Macca back to 7th is the only real option for him. He isn't an opener batsmen. Although being unlucky in his last dismissal him getting out for under 10 is a far too common occurance. batting at 7 will severaly strengthen our lower order.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 2:46 GMT)

NZ have lasted 2 days and played excellent cricket, this is where they USUALLY get let down by a batting callopse or wide and full bowling, however this could be a turning point!! Southee is in form after being dropped earlier in the year and Boult has found his feet by dismissing the top order with ripping left hand seam. All that is left is for NZ to last MORE THAN 2 days and make it 4-5 days of being on top and they WILL WIN... I hope you can NZ because we all know you can but we also all know that a win here will help to ease tension going into SA where the true training since the white wash in earlier inthe year will show.. BEST OF LUCK NZ - you can do it

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 2:46 GMT)

NZ have lasted 2 days and played excellent cricket, this is where they USUALLY get let down by a batting callopse or wide and full bowling, however this could be a turning point!! Southee is in form after being dropped earlier in the year and Boult has found his feet by dismissing the top order with ripping left hand seam. All that is left is for NZ to last MORE THAN 2 days and make it 4-5 days of being on top and they WILL WIN... I hope you can NZ because we all know you can but we also all know that a win here will help to ease tension going into SA where the true training since the white wash in earlier inthe year will show.. BEST OF LUCK NZ - you can do it

Posted by KingOwl on (November 27, 2012, 1:21 GMT)

I think SL will make 240 in the first inning.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 23:26 GMT)

mahela out of form? he scored 96 in his last innings. lol

Posted by nilb on (November 26, 2012, 22:29 GMT)

@wazza85 I stopped watching this match when the selectors decide to play Dilshan without giving chance to a new player like Thirimanne, Chandimal, Thisara Perera or anyone. Paranavithana is more suited to Test cricket than Dilshan and he has played some good innings even though you haven't seen them. I'm kind of happy the big three got out because it's up-to the young guys to perform well.

Posted by shott on (November 26, 2012, 21:35 GMT)

What a farce the umpires taking the teams off for bad light towards the end of Day Two. No wonder this match is being played in front of virtually no crowds. Law 3.8 and 3.9 state bad light should be considered if it is dangerous to the batsman and the sped of bowling should be considered. NZ had spinnersTodd Astle and Jeetan Patel bowling. If umplires such as Marais Erasmus and Nigel Llong willfully ignore the Laws to say nothing of the paying public, it is little wonder that fewer and fewer people bother to turn up. Except in absolute extreme conditions (such as the World Cup final in the Windies) bad light should be scrapped as a reason to leave -- it should be no different from high humidity, a condition of the game that may favour one side. And how often do you see batsmen batting comfortably, offered the light and then go out first thing next day? In 50 years of watching the game I have never seen a batsman injured in bad light.i

Posted by dalboy12 on (November 26, 2012, 20:39 GMT)

Yea go you Black Caps --- and learn that hundreds win matches as well as catches. For once our quite good bowling unit has a total to bowl at. This is going to be interesting. PS....unless SL find some form with the ball, and with their seamers I think they are in for a very hard time against a very good Aussie batting line up later on this year. The pitches in Aussie will not help their spinners until late in the test and so their seamers are going have to stand up. Hopefully NZ has found some form and can carry this into their series against SA and England.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (November 26, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

minnows exposed finally to some quality batting and clinical bowling finally

Posted by Middlemarch on (November 26, 2012, 20:18 GMT)

It's good to see NZ concetrating and grafting their way to a good total of 412. At last they seemed to have eshewed this mantra of 'being positive' which really means to play expansively. I'm sure they modelled this approach on the Warne era Australians who changed the game by having batsmen like Hayden, Langer, Ponting and Gilchrist set up formidable first innings totals in super-quick time. Thereby setting themselves up for a dominant and early win. But this approach suited batsmen of such class - it does not suit NZ's current crop of batsmen. So a revised approach is needed and many NZ supporters were heartened by Taylor, Williamson and Flynn's remodelled approach. It suits them better and it gets results. And that's all we supporters ask for....

Posted by Sombrehombre on (November 26, 2012, 20:13 GMT)

Finally some grit and determination shown by NZ's batting. Many will criticise the slow run rate but personally I am chuffed. For Taylor and Williamson to bat for 100 overs and not play any rash shots is a major step forward. Lesson has been taught New Zealand, now learn and remember it.

Posted by bender6 on (November 26, 2012, 19:08 GMT)

Fantastic to see New Zealand actually play two full days of proper test cricket. I do hope they can back this up on the next three days and push for a win. Well done to Ross Taylor & Kane Williamson, I hope they stop playing Kane in limited overs cricket now, he is a test player. Full stop.

Posted by rajufer on (November 26, 2012, 16:56 GMT)

Chaminda Vaas doing the tricks. He exactly knows the strengths and weaknesses of SL. Two cool teams playing good cricket. All the best SL and NZ.

Posted by siri12345 on (November 26, 2012, 15:15 GMT)

I think this type of tough situation in a way is good for us before a difficult australian tour.this series has been too easy for us till today so hardly anything to gain and learn from this i am eagerly waiting to see how much fight we have under our belt.i just hope we cross 212.cricinfo plz publish

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

Terrible shot selection by the senior batsman, still in T20 mode it seems

Posted by yorkslanka on (November 26, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

Well played to NZ who gave a great example of excellent swing bowling- one our batsmen couldn't cope with. We are going to have to fight hard to get anything out of this game.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 14:01 GMT)

I think this is the time to Sangakkara to come down few places in the batting order. these days his body reacts little slower than he expects. statistics also suggest that. at the moment Angelo Mathews is the best batsman in the side in technically and also in he must be given the number three position.

Posted by Zerotollerance101 on (November 26, 2012, 13:33 GMT)

When will chandimal and dimuth get a chance..all the 3seniors have failed. Make dilshan and sanga retire by force. They are still playing depriving of the youngsters a chance to play. Let Angelo be the captain. Fedup off seeing all the old guys play and fail.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 13:26 GMT)

EVEn the under 19 team plays better than this exept for herath.herath is the only one contributing.But everyone know sri lanka is not that dominating in pitches other than galle

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (November 26, 2012, 12:38 GMT)

hhee..sub continet team used to claim them selves as champs in home conditin and now they are surendreing to non spin playing western world in their own may be s lanka or india or bangla or pak...

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 12:25 GMT)

guys ! remember 1st test at galle SL were tottering at 20/4 and became the clear winners. now here in colombo test 43/3 worries lions will be lions will score easy runs tomorrow. I personally think NZ wasted two days for their 400.

Posted by shortsillypoint on (November 26, 2012, 12:25 GMT)

SL were on the field for 5 sessions so they were tired. NZ finally getting some roll on and have their nose in front but anything can happen with Herath around. Boult and Southee bowling well again.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 12:18 GMT)

Across the Tasmanian sea, couldn't help noticing two contrasting players. While performance of North (AUS) had been going south, performance of Southee (NZ) is going north! Ever since I saw his (Southee's) performance in the under 19 world cup, I had been impressed with him -- only the consistency was lacking. Now, he seems to be correcting that too. Future of batsmanship also looks OK in the hands of emerging young players like Williamson (NZ) and Pujara (IND)

Posted by wazza85 on (November 26, 2012, 12:00 GMT)

What a pathetic batting performance by SL again. the batting has not yet clicked for SL. and in this state SL will face bitter defeat in OZ when they play down-under. what i dont understand is i have never seen T. Paranavitana play good cricket. how come Chandimal is not given the chance to prove him self. Sanga and Mahela are out of form at the moment. i don't see SL selectors using strategy to counter attack.

Posted by ajithabey on (November 26, 2012, 10:56 GMT)

what a feat by herath but sri lankan senior batsmen have made a mockery of the batting so far

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