Bond ruins Sri Lanka again

Sixteen wickets fell in a day of bowling carnage at Jade Stadium. Having been solidly placed overnight at 85/2, New Zealand’s middle soon succumbed a dual-pronged assault by Chamindah Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan, before Shane Bond exacted his revenge with 4 wickets to leave the tourists floundering at 125/8 at the close. Only Daniel Vettri and Kmar Sangakkara had anysuccess in conditions that, whilst testing were not as poor as the score-line reflected.

New Zealand started the day in solid fashion, with Craig Cumming and Stephen Fleming taking the scorepast 100 with relative ease. However Cumming’s wicket to Muralitharan for 43 triggered an avalanche of soft dismissals. Nathan Astle was out lbw, playing down the wrong line to a Murali off break, Jacob Oram lamely tapped a leg stump half volley from Vaas to mid wicket, and Brendon McCullum was somehow managed to play a ball onto his stumps, whilst attempting to leave it at the same time.

By this stage New Zealand had slumped to 113/6, and looked in danger of failing to match Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 154. However, Stephen Fleming, who had watched to procession of wickets from the other end, finally found support in Danil Vettori. The New Zealand spinner was lucky to survive a couple of confident lbw shouts, and narrowly avoided being caught in the slips twice, but managed to survive throught to lunch, and from then on made the most of his good fortune.

After the interval, Vettori started to open up, just as Fleming seemed to forget how to score. Trapped in the 40’s for 16 overs, Fleming was finally removed just two short of a deserved 50, when he was caught by Kapugedera off the bowling of Maharoof.

From that point, New Zealand’s innings fell apart at an alarming rate. The lower order, so often the provider of much needed resistance, disintegrated on the spot. James Franklin was removed by Murali for nought, and Bond followed shortly after, both lbw. With Chris Martin at the other end, Vettori struck out, and became the first person in the test to pass 50. His superb effort finallyended when he was cuaght by Jayawardene at cover for 63.

In reply Sir Lanka started in a positive manner, with Jayasuria promptly striking Chris Martin over point for an astonishing six. However, he was denied the opportunity to thrill the small Jade Stadium crowd, when he was run out in the worst possible manner: a defelction from a Tharanga drive, whilst he was backing up.

After his dismissal the top order soon unravelled when faced with a hostile spell of bowling Shane Bond. Bond quickly dismissed Tharanga, Kapugedera and Silva with some excellent fast swing bowling. James Franklin also chipped in with the vital wicket of Mahela Jayawardene, caught at first slip by Stephen Fleming for a duck, and before long Sri Lanka were reduced to 46/5.

Things could have been far worse, however Kumar Sangakkara, displaying his supreme talent and maturity, survived the initial onslaught and set about crafting a magnificent innings, which may yet impact on the outcome of the game. For a time he received able suport from Prasanna Jayawardene, and the two formed a partnership which threatened to revive Sri Lanka’s chances. However, Jayawardene was disastrously run out for 11, and Vaas fell for 0, caught behind off Jacob Oram shortly thereafter.

Sangakkara once more set about propelling his side to a competitive total to defend, but his efforts were harmed by the late wicket of Maharoof, whoagain fell to the bowling of Bond. The light closed in before Bond could finish off the tailenders, but with Sri Lanka still left with a lead of 73 runs, it will take something special from Sangakkara and the bowlers tomorrow to rescue this match.

Sri Lanka 154
Chamara Kapugedera 37, Upul Tharanga 33
James Franklin 3-30, Shane Bond 3-43

New Zealand 206
Daniel Vettori 63, Stephen Fleming 48
Muttiah Muralitharan 4-65, Chaminda Vaas 3-49

Sri Lanka 125-8
Kumer Sangakkara 63*, Upul Tharanga 24
Shane Bond 4-38, James Franklin 1-17, Jacob Oram 1-19

Sri Lanka lead by 73 runs with 2 wickets remaining

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