Sri Lanka make steady start

Cricket: Second Test: Daniel Vettori takes his 300th Test wicket to join a rarefied zone


WELL DONE: New Zealand players congratulate Daniel Vettori after he dismissed Kumar  Sangakkara to capture his 300th Test wicket in Colombo on Wednesday. AP

The pair shared an unbroken 147-run fourth-wicket partnership to leave Sri Lanka with a solid first innings platform on a dry pitch.

Jayawardene batted the longest, facing 210 balls for his workmanlike 79, an innings of patient accumulation that included just seven boundaries. Samaraweera was left unbeaten on 78 from 139 balls having hit 10 boundaries at close.

Earlier, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori became the first left-arm spinner and second New Zealander after Richard Hadlee to take 300 Test wickets. Vettori passed the milestone when he dismissed Tharanga Paranavitana (19) and Kumar Sangakkara (50) on either side of lunch.

The left-arm spinner was New Zealand's best bowler, finishing the day with two for 65 from 30 overs. Although disappointed not to have taken more wickets, Vettori would have been pleased with the efforts of his bowlers, who showed greater discipline than in the first Test.

Sri Lanka had to graft for runs and scored only 146 in the first 56 overs in the morning and afternoon before Jayawardene and Samaraweera raised the tempo in the final session. The only casualty for the hosts during a truncated 90-minute morning session was opener Paranavitana, who was caught by Ross Taylor at slips off Vettori. After the lunch interval, Tillakaratne Dilshan was caught and bowled by Iain O'Brien off a leading edge for 29. Sangakkara stroked a stylish 50 from 96 balls with nine boundaries before mistiming a slog sweep and being caught at mid-wicket off Vettori.

Sri Lanka made three changes to the team that won the first Test, bringing in batsman Chamara Kapugedera, spinner Rangana Herath and fast bowler Dammika Prasad. Spinner Ajantha Mendis was left out due to a back problem, Angelo Mathews was omitted with a hamstring strain and Nuwan Kulasekara was rested as a precautionary measure after a heavy workload.

SCOREBOARD

SRI LANKA (I Innings)

Paranavitana c Taylor b Vettori    19
Dilshan c&b O'Brien    29
Sangakkara c Oram b Vettori    50
Jayawardene (batting)    79
Samaraweera (batting)    78

Extras: (B-2, LB-4, NB-1)    7
Total (for three wkts; 90 overs)    262

Fall of wickets: 1-34, 2-75, 3-115.

Bowling: Martin 14-2-45-0, O'Brien 16-3-52-1, Vettori 30-11-65-2, Oram 18-6-45-0, Patel 9-1-32-0, Ryder
3-1-17-0.

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