Runs continue to flow on Day 3

New Zealand v Sri Lanka
First Test at Napier

Day Three

Marvan Atapattu and Mahela Jayawardene both hit centuries, as Sri Lanka moved to a formidable position of 351/3 on Day Three. It was another trying day for the bowlers, as New Zealand struggled to burst through the visitors’ top-order.

After a strong start late on Day 2, Sanath Jayasuriya looked to continue in the same vein this morning, taking Sri Lanka towards 100. He fell just short of his own half-century, however, as Martin caught him on the crease LBW for 48. Martin struck a bonus wicket in his next over, as Sangakkara played on to his stumps for five. The quick wickets were not to be indicative of Sri Lanka’s day, however, as captain Atapattu and Jayawardene compiled a big partnership.

Atapattu played particularly strongly on the offside, hitting some 20 boundaries to this region, and a further two on the leg side. Little more was needed on a pitch which must have reminded the Sri Lankan’s of home, albeit without the turn. Jayawardene was somehwat more dynamic, but he too relied heavily on boundaries, with 16 fours in his innings thus far. After bringing up his century, Atapattu took control of the partnership, while Jayawardene slowed down as he approached his century.

The only disappointment for Atapattu was not improving on his impressive double-century conversion rate, as he fell after tea for 127, his 16th Test ton. He attempted to cut an innocuous Nathan Astle delivery, but found the top edge to give Stephen Fleming a simple slips catch. Jayawardene brought up his 13th Test century and was joined at the crease by Thilan Samaraweera, who played impressively late in the day to be unbeaten on 34. Jayawardene will resume tomorrow on an already-formidable 118. Despite the impressive display, Sri Lanka is still 210 runs behind on first innings, and it will take a particularly good performance from one team if this match is to yield a result, other than a drawn one.

Score Summary: Stumps Day 3

NEW ZEALAND 561 all out from 159.1 overs
HJH Marshall 160, NJ Astle 114, BB McCullum 99, JEC Franklin 55, JAH Marshall 52;
LS Malinga 4/131

SRI LANKA 351 for 3 from 94 overs
MS Atapattu 127, DPMdS Jayawardene 118*, ST Jayasuriya 48;
CS Martin 2/106

Sri Lanka trail by 210 runs

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