Sri Lanka Charge To Victory Inside Three Days
Left-arm-spinner Rangana Herath and debutant opener Dimuth Karunaratne played the starring roles as Sri Lanka wasted little time in wrapping up a ten-wicket win over New Zealand in the opening Test in Galle.
Herath took six for 43 to bundle the Black Caps out for 119 in their second innings before Karunaratne's unbeaten 60 made light work of a victory target of 93 on just the third day of the match - a performance that has seen bet365 make Sri Lanka 4/5 to win the second Test in Colombo, which begins on 25th November.
Resuming on 35 for one in their second innings - ahead by nine, things quickly started to go awry for the tourists after Martin Guptill (13) was bowled by Nuwan Kulasekara.
Kulasekara struck again to have Kane Williamson caught behind for 10 and Herath then began to spin New Zealand to their downfall.
Ross Taylor was trapped in front for 18, James Franklin stumped for two, Daniel Flynn was bowled for 20 and Doug Bracewell was trapped in front for a golden duck as New Zealand went from 60 for three to 79 for seven in seven overs and two balls.
Tim Southee blasted a couple of fours and a six as he valiantly tried to put Sri Lanka under some pressure before off-spinner Suraj Randiv dismissed him for 16 and after Herath grabbed his sixth by having Jeetan Patel (0) caught by Karunaratne, he then removed Trent Boult for 13 to end the innings.
Herath's haul was his 12th five-wicket haul in Tests and his second ten-wicket match haul after he took five for 35 in New Zealand's first innings. An outstanding all-round effort from Sri Lanka was epitomised by the unusual sight of no extras being conceded.
That left them with a modest target to chase and similar to the way in which Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara were attacking England in Ahmdebad, Karunaratne and Tharanga Paranavitana did much the same to hurry the home side over the line in 18.3 overs.
Karunaratne, called up as a late replacement for Tillakaratne Dilshan, made it a debut to remember by taking the leading role, his 60 coming from as many ball and including nine fours.
Paranavitana was more circumspect, hitting 31 in 51 deliveries with three fours and a six to put Sri Lanka into an unassailable 1-0 series lead with one match remaining.
New Zealand's wait for a Test in in Sri Lanka stretches back to 1998.
© Cricket World 2012
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