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Williamson puts New Zealand on brink of series victory

Williamson puts New Zealand on brink of series victory
Kane Williamson scored an unbeaten 78 for New Zealand on day three of the second Test against Sri Lanka.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Sri Lanka 292 & 133 (Mendis 46) v
New Zealand 237 & 142-5 (Williamson 78no)
Second Test, Hamilton, day three

Kane Williamson's unbeaten fifty took New Zealand closer to a series victory, needing just 47 more runs with five wickets in hand, despite Sri Lanka fighting back with a four-wicket haul from Dushmantha Chameera on the third day of the second Test in Hamilton. 

Earlier in the day Sri Lanka were bowled out for just 133 runs in 36.3 overs, thereby setting a target of 189 runs for New Zealand.

The hosts resumed at their overnight first innings score of 232 for nine. It took Sri Lanka four balls to bowl out New Zealand as Trent Boult (0) holed out to mid-on off Nuwan Pradeep (2-39).

New Zealand were bowled out for 237 runs and they conceded a 55-run first innings lead.

Early in the second innings, Kusal Mendis (46) was struck on the bottom hand off a short delivery and needed attention from the physio.

Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne (27) batted well and put on a 71-run opening stand. Doug Bracewell (2-31) provided the breakthrough for New Zealand as Karunaratne edged a short delivery to Tim Southee (4-26) at second slip.

In the same over, Udara Jayasundera (0) edged a short delivery to the keeper and was dismissed after a New Zealand review showed a faint mark on the hot spot.

Neil Wagner (3-40) removed Dinesh Chandimal (4), who was caught at leg gully. Mendis and Angelo Mathews (2) took Sri Lanka to lunch at 85 for three.

In the second over post lunch, Southee induced a top edge off Mendis and Mitchell Santner took a well-judged catch at fine leg.

Milinda Siriwardana (26) struck two sixes and a boundary in the 30th over from Wagner. Southee continued to peg away as he accounted for Mathews, who tried to pull a delivery only to glove a catch to the keeper.

Sri Lanka lost half their side for 110 runs. In the space of five balls, Sri Lanka lost Siriwardana to Wagner and Rangana Herath (0) to Southee.

The procession of wickets continued as Kithuruwan Vithanage (9) aimed to hit an upper cut but was caught at third man off Wagner. Sri Lanka were struggling at 131 for eight.

To make matters worse, Chameera (2) was run out in the 36th over attempting to steal a single while Suranga Lakmal (1 not out) remained unmoved at the striker’s end.

It took three more deliveries for New Zealand to bowl out Sri Lanka as Pradeep (0) top-edged a delivery from Southee to the wicket-keeper. Sri Lanka were dismissed for 133 runs and gave New Zealand a target of 189 runs.

Southee was the star with four wickets while Wagner and Bracewell shared five scalps between them.

Just three overs into the chase, Tom Latham (4) attempted a pull against Chameera (4-45) and was taken at fine leg. Another snorter from Chameera saw the back of Martin Guptill (1) who lobbed a catch to Karunaratne running in from leg gully.

Ross Taylor (35) and Williamson (78 not out) saw New Zealand to tea with the score at 33 for two.

In the first over of the final session Taylor survived a review for lbw as the replays upheld the umpire’s call with the ball only clipping the off stump.

Williamson and Taylor added 67 runs for the third wicket. The partnership was broken by Chameera when Jeffrey Vandersay the substitute fielder jumped in and out of the fine-leg boundary to complete a tricky catch of Taylor.

Williamson soon brought up his fifty off 75 balls. Another fifty-run stand between Williamson and Brendon McCullum (18) took New Zealand closer to victory.

Chameera returned to dismiss McCullum with yet another short ball which was caught in the covers by Mathews (0-4).

In the last over of the day, Santner (4) nicked a Lakmal (1-19) delivery to the keeper as New Zealand reached 142 for five at stumps.

Chameera had four wickets while Lakmal picked one. The hosts need another 47 runs with five wickets in hand to win the match and the series.

© Cricket World 2015