Karunaratne keeps Sri Lanka alive against New Zealand

Christchurch, Dec 28 (IANS) Dimuth Karunaratne’s 152 has given Sri Lanka the slimmest of chances to save the first Test against New Zealand as the tourists reached 293 for five at the Hagley Oval here Sunday.

The first two days of the Boxing Day Test went in favour of the Black Caps but Karunaratne’s maiden hundred helped his side grind their way back on the third day while they still trail by 10 runs, reports stuff.co.nz.
The 26-year-old opener batted for eight hours before being bowled by a Trent Boult ripper which swung from middle to off stump, around Karunaratne’s tired bat with stumps looming. He batted for 483 minutes and faced 363 balls (60.3 overs).
New Zealand, however, remain hot favourites and as good as Karunaratne’s innings was, more was needed from his teammates after they trailed by 303 on the first innings.
New Zealand’s bowlers toiled away all day, but created few chances. Most of the ones they did create were half chances at best and either brushed fingertips or bounced inches short.
The Black Caps’ two late wickets ensured the home side is still in the driving seat having done their toughest job of the day early when they removed Kumar Sangakkara for just one.
The Sri Lankans started day three at 84 for without loss and lost opener Kaushal Silva off the last ball of the day’s first over.
That brought Sangakkara, World No. 1 Test batsman to the crease, but he lasted just 16 deliveries.
This was the veteran left-hander’s 129th Test and he seldom fails.
Before this match, Sangakkara scored 11988 runs at phenomenal average of 58.76 while Sunday was just the third time in his 14-year career that he has batted twice in a Test and failed to score 10 runs.

Boult had the best of the New Zealand bowlers’ figures and ended the day with three for 58 while Sri Lanka will resume Monday with captain Angelo Mathews on 53 and night-watchman Tharindu Kaushal on five.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 441 lead Sri Lanka 138 and 293/5 (Dimuth Karunaratne 152, Angelo Mathews not out 53; Trent Boult 3/62) by 10 runs at stumps on Day 3.