Sri Lanka asked to follow-on after dramatic collapse


Sri Lanka asked to follow-on after dramatic collapse

by Staff • Last updated on Sun, Mar 19, 2023

Sri Lanka were asked to follow on at the Basin Reserve on the third day of the Wellington Test following a dramatic collapse in the post-Lunch session that saw them lose their final six wickets for just 55 runs. At Tea, the visitors were 12/0 in their second innings, still trailing New Zealand by 404 runs.

The visitors were far away from even achieving parity in this game when play began in the second session. But there was hope of a strong fight for them with the senior pair of Dimuth Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal resuming their 75-run partnership. The promise lasted all of three deliveries during which Chandimal swept Michael Bracewell for a boundary. The off-spinner, however, had extracted significant turn and bounce just before the close of the first session and struck with his fourth ball. Chandimal charged out of his crease but was beaten by the dip and the turn and was dismissed for 37 after ‘keeper Tom Blundell effected a sharp stumping.

Sri Lanka never recovered from that early jolt. Dhananjaya de Silva attempted a big slog sweep off his first delivery and didn’t last much longer thereafter, once again trying to step out to Michael Bracewell and finding himself beaten in the air by the dip only to push tamely to short mid-wicket.

Nishan Madushka then hit three boundaries in his innings of 19 before he was undone by a sharp Matt Henry delivery that reared up on him to find the edge and loop away to third slip for a simple catch. Kasun Rajitha then ran himself out attempting a non-existent single after driving to mid-on.

The flurry of wickets meant, the otherwise excellent Karunaratne had to look for a couple of big hits to get to his century. He perished in this attempt after getting too close to a Michael Bracewell delivery and therefore unable to get the distance on a lofted shot over long-off. He was dismissed for a fine 89. Blair Tickner got himself a wicket by dismissing last man Asitha Fernando. The hosts had a commanding 416-run first-innings lead and they had no qualms in asking their opponents to take strike once more. Sri Lanka survived a nine-over burst against the new ball without losing a wicket.

Earlier in the morning session, Sri Lanka recovered from 34/4 to 109/4 thanks to a fine partnership from Chandimal and Karunaratne. The two senior pros survived nervy moments each but were adept at putting away the bad balls which led to an admirable period of Sri Lankan resistance. Unfortunately for them, it didn’t last long.

Brief scores:Sri Lanka 164 (Dimuth Karunaratne 89; Matt Henry 3-44, Michael Bracewell 3-50) & 12/0 (f/o) trail New Zealand 580/4 decl. (Kane Williamson 215, Henry Nicholls 200*; Kasun Rajitha 2-126) by 404 runs

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