SL A v NZ A, 2nd unofficial Test, Dambulla, 2nd day

Latham, Ronchi lead New Zealand's reply

The Report by Andrew Fidel Fernando

September 24, 2013

Comments: 2 | Text size: A | A

New Zealand A 224 for 4 (Latham 77*, Ronchi 60*) trail Sri Lanka A 555 for 6 decl (Kaushal Silva 193, Vithanage 116) by 331 runs
Scorecard


Kithuruwan Vithanage plays a sweep shot, Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 1st Test, Galle, 5th day, March 12, 2013
File photo - Kithuruwan Vithanage's sixth first-class ton took Sri Lanka to a huge total © AFP
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A whopping 419 runs were scored in 88 overs on day two of the second unofficial Test in Dambulla, where Sri Lanka A emerged with a slight edge over New Zealand A. Kithuruwan Vithanage's sixth first-class hundred propelled the hosts towards their eventual 555 for 6 declared, before New Zealand responded with 224 for 4 at stumps. Captain Tom Latham's 77 not out and Luke Ronchi's unbeaten 60 from 67, saw the visitors recover from 140 for 4, but they remained 331 runs adrift.

Vithanage had struck 32 not out from 33 the previous evening, and he was not shy of attacking New Zealand again, as he blazed to his hundred inside the first session. He had begun alongside Kaushal Silva, who might have held hopes for a double ton having been 150 overnight, but fell to the part-time medium pace of Carl Cachopa for 193, ending his 181-run association with Vithanage. 
 Vithanage himself fell soon after lunch, having hit 20 fours and a six in his 127-ball 116, and Sri Lanka declared fewer than four overs after that. At the end of the innings, only three batsmen had fallen to the visitor's frontline bowlers, who had also largely been expensive on a seemingly flat surface. Aside from Matt Henry and Andrew Ellis, no other bowler conceded less than 4.5 runs an over.

New Zealand progressed even more quickly, scoring at 4.48 in the 50 overs they faced. Latham and Cachopa had begun solidly before Cachopa was caught behind off Nuwan Pradeep, with the score on 75. Anton Devcich then hit 39 runs off 37, but his dismissal to Ashan Priyanjan's medium pace brought two more quick wickets, before Latham and Ronchi ensured their team would not slide further in the day. Priyanjan finished the day with 2 for 18, from his six overs.

The overnight batsmen will hope to take New Zealand beyond the follow-on target of 355 when play resumes on Wednesday, while the hosts know they are two wickets away from the tail.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by maitland on (September 24, 2013, 19:34 GMT)

Ronchi certainly looks a better prospect than Munro who has had a shocking tour. Ronchi has been a victim of this obsession with thinking the wicketkeeper must open in short formats.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (September 24, 2013, 14:46 GMT)

Ronchi needs to be given another chance. He had a tough time in England, but he is a very good player. Despite his reputation, he is actually a better 4-day batsman than a limited overs one. His record backs this up too. Ever since he moved to NZ, he has been mounting up FC runs for Wellington. Scored a ton against India A too.

If NZ are in need of a batsman at test level, I would suggest they give Ronchi a go. Watling can move up to 6 and whoever is in better form with the gloves can have them.

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