Sangakkara puts Sri Lanka on top

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Published: Sunday 4th January 2015 by The News Editor

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A double century from Kumar Sangakkara helped Sri Lanka finish day two of the second Test against New Zealand in the ascendancy.

Fresh from becoming only the fifth batsman – and first Sri Lankan – to pass 12,000 Test runs on Saturday’s opening day, Sangakkara made the Black Caps bowlers toil in Sunday’s action at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

The stylish number three scored his 11th Test double century to help the tourists to a first-innings total of 356 all out to lead by 135 runs – an impressive feat considering they started the day in the perilous position of 78 for five.

New Zealand reached the close on 22 without loss in response to trail the tourists by 113 runs.

The Black Caps bowlers sought to snare the five remaining wickets when play resumed on Sunday morning but Sangakkara and Dinesh Chandimal had other ideas and set about getting Sri Lanka as close to New Zealand’s first-innings effort of 221 as possible.

Seamers Trent Boult, Tim Southee and then Doug Bracewell – so impressive on the opening day – had little joy as Sangakkara and Chandimal played flawlessly to steer Sri Lanka to 159 at lunch, with Sangakkara registering his half-century in the process.

New Zealand had only an opportunistic lbw shout from off-spinner Mark Craig to show for their morning efforts and it did not get any better for the hosts after the interval as Chandimal joined his batting partner in notching a fifty.

Chandimal then passed 1,000 Test runs before his and Sangakkara’s sixth-wicket partnership ended on 130 runs when Jimmy Neesham tempted him to drive at a full, swinging delivery and he succeeded only in edging behind.

Sangakkara cut Craig to bring up his 38th Test century moments later and useful stands with Dhammika Prasad, Rangana Herath and Suranga Lakmal saw Sri Lanka pass the New Zealand total and then build a decent lead.

Sangakkara blazed a peach of a cover drive off Neesham after tea to bring up his 11th Test double century – he needs one more to equal Sir Donald Bradman’s world record of 12 – before falling on 203 to a stunning Boult catch at backward point to give Neesham his third wicket of the innings.

Throwing caution to the wind, Lakmal danced down the wicket to slog the very next delivery, from Craig, but got it horribly wrong and was stumped by BJ Watling, who ended the innings with five victims.

New Zealand openers Tom Latham and Hamish Rutherford saw out the remaining 11 overs without incident.

Published: Sunday 4th January 2015 by The News Editor

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