Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Colombo, 3rd day November 27, 2012

Southee happy to hunt wickets with Boult

Unlike Sri Lanka's attack, New Zealand's has supported their spearhead effectively at the P Sara Oval. Their spearhead, Tim Southee, has claimed another heavy haul in Colombo, after his four wickets in the first innings in Galle, and he has attributed this to the others in the attack. Southee had removed Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara on the second evening, and he dismissed Angelo Mathews and Tharanga Paranavitana the next day, claiming figures of 4 for 51.

Southee said left-arm seamer Trent Boult had been especially helpful to his success in Sri Lanka. The bowlers not only complement each other by testing batsmen against different angles of attack, but also specialise in swinging the ball in opposite directions. Southee largely takes the ball away from the right-hand batsmen, while Boult moves it in.

"Trent Boult has got a massive role to play in the wickets I've taken," Southee said. "He's helping out by putting pressure at the other end and I am sure his turn to take wickets is just around the corner. It's tough conditions at the moment, but I'm going through a period where it's coming out nicely."

New Zealand were only able to remove three batsmen in almost 70 overs on the third day, and despite having worked their way to the start of Sri Lanka's tail, they were unable to dismiss the hosts for less than the follow-on mark. Thilan Samaraweera and Suraj Randiv resisted with an unbeaten stand of 97 towards the end of the day, but Southee's efforts leave his team still in the hunt for a win as, having lost six wickets, Sri Lanka still trail by 187 runs.

Southee said wickets in the first hour of the fourth day would be crucial to New Zealand's hopes of levelling the series, particularly as the pitch offers little for bowlers once the ball gets old. New Zealand will begin the day with a ball that is only 4.2 overs old.

"Massive hour tomorrow morning, if we can pick up a couple of wickets and run through them then who knows," Southee said. "It's definitely a new-ball wicket, and if you can grab a couple with the new ball, then it makes it easier to make inroads into the batting line-up. It's not as easy when the ball gets older, and that can affect the team."

Southee said New Zealand weren't displeased with their day's work, given the number of good batsmen in Sri Lanka's ranks. "It's a tough batting line-up and there are some world class players here who have scored a lot of runs. They keep coming one after another and it just shows their great batting depth is. It would have been nice to have a couple of more [wickets] today to really get into their tail. Hopefully in the second innings, the spinners come to play."

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent

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  • Dummy4 on November 28, 2012, 5:29 GMT

    would love to see T.Southee step up and work his way into the top 5 bowlers in the world.. It's good for international cricket having players from the lower ranked nations in the top echelon of players in the world.. It's so important in terms of motivating future generations. The youngster sneed idols and role models to emulate and get them hungry to play for their nations.. Financial aid, time and energy should be PUMPED into developing players from these nations for this fact alone

  • Matthew on November 28, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    Tim Southee has bowled brilliantly in the sub-continent this year and I hope this turns a corner for him as he's been someone who has rather failed to live up to that early promise at test level. If he, Boult and Bracewell can keep their feet on the ground, and are coached and managed well, then NZ could potentially have a top class pace attack for the next ten years or so. Mind you I don't think the bowling is NZ's biggest concern at the moment, as something needs drastically doing about the quality of batsmen that are in the side. Some of these guys are just not coming up with the goods when it counts.

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