Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews plays a shot during the final
day of the second and final test cricket match against New
Zealand in Colombo. Photo by Reuters
Sri Lanka will hope they have a Faf du Plessis in their
side tonight as they fight to save the second cricket test
against New Zealand in Colombo.
Du Plessis made a name for himself earlier this week when he
batted for seven-and-a-half hours to help South Africa
achieve an epic draw in the second test against Australia in
Sri Lanka, who started the day at 47 for four, still have
some way to go to replicate that but moved through to 107-5
at lunch on the final day.
The Black Caps made one significant breakthrough in their
search for a rare test win after five consecutive defeats,
when Thilan Samaraweera was needlessly run out for seven.
Samaraweera, who boasts an average of close to 51, prodded a
Doug Bracewell delivery wide of Jeetan Patel at cover and set
off for what would have been a comfortable single, only for
Angelo Mathews to stand his ground and leave Samaraweera well
short of his crease.
It was a crucial wicket, meaning New Zealand were closer to
getting into Sri Lanka's tail. But they were frustrated
throughout the remainder of the session as Mathews (27 not
out) and Prasanna Jayawardene (23 not out) tackled their work
with a mixture of belligerence and occasional aggression on
the docile pitch.
It was largely slow-going, with Sri Lanka batting at a
run-rate of just 1.8 for the session, but run rate is far
from their minds as they battle for survival.