Get the app

Sri Lanka vs New Zealand: Karunaratne & Thirimanne Fifties Take Hosts Closer to Win at Galle

Sri Lanka's batters set the stage Saturday for a thrilling final day, reaching 133 without loss at stumps on day four as they chased 268 to beat New Zealand in the first Test in Galle. Openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne were involved in a record opening stand of 133 runs and benefited from some sloppy fielding by the tourists.

AFP |August 17, 2019, 7:44 PM IST
Sri Lanka vs New Zealand: Karunaratne & Thirimanne Fifties Take Hosts Closer to Win at Galle

Galle: Sri Lanka's batters set the stage Saturday for a thrilling final day, reaching 133 without loss at stumps on day four as they chased 268 to beat New Zealand in the first Test in Galle. Openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne were involved in a record opening stand of 133 runs and benefited from some sloppy fielding by the tourists.

It leaves Sri Lanka needing a further 135 runs to record their first win in the World Test Championship. Karunaratne was unbeaten on 71 off 168 balls with two boundaries while Thirimanne was on 57 having faced 132 deliveries and hit four fours. They were in no mood to withdraw to the dressing room but bad light ended play 34 minutes before schedule.

Batting fourth in Galle is not the prettiest thing for batsmen and the highest successful run chase here is 99. But this track held together and there weren't any demons for batsmen making life difficult.

Both openers were slow off the blocks with the first boundary coming in the 22nd over. Karunaratne was the first to reach half-century with a cut shot off William Somerville. It was the Sri Lankan skipper's 23rd Test fifty.

Thirimanne reached his sixth half-century with a flick for four off Ajaz Patel. After a series of low scores, he was under pressure to post a decent figure and the half-century will have saved his place for the next Test in Colombo.

A bat pad chance off Thirimanne when he was on 29 fell just short of short leg fielder Tom Latham. But the luckier of the two openers was Karunaratne, who was put down twice. Latham spilled a chance at short leg when he was on 58 off the bowling of Patel and in the very next over B.J. Watling missed a stumping chance off Somerville.

The duo went onto establish the highest partnership by a Sri Lankan opening pair in the fourth innings. The previous best was 110 by Roshan Mahanama and Chandika Hathurusingha against Australia at R. Premadasa Stadium in 1992.

It is also the highest partnership by a Sri Lankan pair for the first wicket against New Zealand. Mahanama and Hathurusingha had posted 102 in 1992 at SSC against the late Martin Crowe's side.

Earlier, resuming from the overnight score of 195 for seven, New Zealand posted 285 with Watling top scoring with 77 runs. He was well supported by the tail with William Somerville hitting his highest score in first class cricket -– 40 not out.

Lasith Embuldeniya finished with four wickets while Dhananjaya de Silva claimed three.

Related stories

Tim Southee Equals Tendulkar's Tally of Sixes in Tests
Cricketnext Staff | August 16, 2019, 5:11 PM IST

Tim Southee Equals Tendulkar's Tally of Sixes in Tests

World Championship Adds Spice to Test Clash, Says Williamson
Cricketnext Staff | August 13, 2019, 6:30 PM IST

World Championship Adds Spice to Test Clash, Says Williamson

IPL Has Immensely Helped NZ Players Bridge the Gap: Taylor
Cricketnext Staff | August 9, 2019, 6:53 PM IST

IPL Has Immensely Helped NZ Players Bridge the Gap: Taylor

Also Watch

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 India 8411 263
4 Australia 5471 261
5 South Africa 4407 259
see more