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Second Test – Angelo Mathews, Milinda Siriwardana Play Crucial Innings after New Zealand Give Quick Jolts to Sri Lanka on Day 1

Second Test – Angelo Mathews, Milinda Siriwardana Play Crucial Innings after New Zealand Give Quick Jolts to Sri Lanka on Day 1

December 18
11:04 2015

milindNew Delhi, Friday, December 18 – In a decisive match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Seddon Park, Hamilton on December 18, the latter did not have an ideal start despite the fact that it was clear any mistake at point of time would cost them the match and series as well.

The Black Caps thrashed them badly in the Game 1 of 2-match Test series which held at University Oval in Dunedin a few days ago. A win of 122 runs is massive for the host and to boost confidence among all players before Game 2 began. And, the home side well utilized it by taking seven wickets at a score of 264 runs on Day 1.

It was a wobbly start for Sri Lanka for the reason that Dimuth Karunaratne was caught by Bradley Watling in Tim Southee’s over. The first breakthrough came for the Kiwis in 13.4 over, giving no clue to the opener how to not lose his wicket. In the previous Test, Karunaratne contributions were 84 runs and 29 runs, respectively. But this time he could only pocket 12 runs in 45 deliveries. His small innings comprised a boundary as well. Kusal Mendis was next to lose his wicket and New Zealand did not have to wait much for another dismissal. Tim Southee and Bradley Watling were the men once again who did job for their team. Mendis scored 31 runs off 42 balls, including four boundaries.

Udara Jayasundera and Dinesh Chandimal tried to stabilize innings of Sri Lanka for a while and hit some good shots. But before this partnership would have turned bigger, Mitchell Santner run out Jayasundera when he was playing at a score of 26 runs. The young batsman struck a couple of boundaries in his knock. Dinesh Chandimal, the wicket-keeper batsman, in a little while succumbed to Doug Bracewell when he was just 3 runs away to attain a half-century. Seven shots were highlight of his play. Bradley Watling made sure not to delay and took a good catch. However, the fort was held by Angelo Mathews. Till stumps, the Sri Lankan skipper, scored 63 runs off 111 balls. Five 4s and three sixes from him is adequate to tell how well he tried to save his team from falling in problematic situation.

Milinda Siriwardana fell short to Trent Boult but he played a useful knock of 62 runs off 81 deliveries. He struck same number of fours and sixes as like Mathews. Losing Kithuruwan Vithanage for a duck added unwanted pressure on Sri Lankan side as the team was eying at least some contribution from each player in order to accumulate impressive score at the end that could have automatically built pressure on the opponents.

Rangana Herath was run out by Kane Williamson when batting at 4 runs. Dushmantha Chameera arrived on the crease to give desired support to 28-year-old Mathews. The tail-ender batsman faced 4 balls but did not open his account by the end of today’s play. Batting with confidence is certainly going to play a pivotal role in team’s success in the rest of the days. Before New Zealand bring Sri Lanka’s innings to an end, the latter would try not to leave any stone unturned to be outstanding. Angelo Mathews will look forward to a robust partnership as this will be imperative to make their objective of leveling the series turn true.

Total 24 boundaries and six biggies were hit by the travelers. Extra 19 runs have been given by the New Zealand bowling lineup. Run rate of 4 was maintained while scoring today. Progress of the contest will keenly be watch by the cricket fans. Support for home side is definitely bigger than that of Sri Lanka. Grass on the wicket seemed to have troubled the guests on the first day of crucial contest. It would be interesting to witness how Mathews-led group makes use of foreign conditions and green top pitch, which they are not used to.

Trent Boult and Tim Southee got two wickets each, whereas Doug Bracewell earned one wicket. Neil Wagner, Mitchell Santner and Kane Williamson yet strive for wicket. With three wicket in hand, Sri Lankan players can think of a bounce back in the game but that would need a commitment of staying on the crease as long as possible and face bowling attack of the opponents. New Zealand might not bring rotational bowlers in attack but if they do so, motto will be to get wickets as early as possible.

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