Sri Lanka lead New Zealand by 140 in 2nd test

(Reuters) – Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis extended Sri Lanka’s lead over New Zealand in the second test to past 100 runs before Doug Bracewell grabbed two wickets in an over as the visitors reached 85 for three at lunch on the third day at Seddon Park.

Neil Wagner grabbed another wicket in the penultimate over before lunch when he had the dangerous Dinesh Chandimal caught for four at leg gully by Martin Guptill.

Mendis was on 45 and Angelo Mathews nought at the break with Sri Lanka holding a lead of 140 runs after they had dismissed New Zealand for 237 in six balls earlier yesterday.

Karunaratne (27) and Mendis blunted the new ball attack of Tim Southee and Trent Boult to take their side to 71 without loss before Bracewell struck about 30 minutes before lunch.

Using the same short-pitched tactics that Sri Lanka exploited so successfully in New Zealand’s innings, Bracewell forced Karunaratne into fending a ball that ballooned up and Southee ran forward from third slip to make the catch.

The medium-fast bowler then had Udara Jayasundera controversially caught behind by wicketkeeper BJ Watling two balls later, again off a short ball.

Umpire Paul Reiffel initially ruled not out but New Zealand called for a review and the ‘hot spot’ technology revealed a dull mark on Jayasundera’s gloves as the ball passed, and third umpire Richard Kettleborough asked Reiffel to overturn his decision.

Both Reiffel, a former Australian pace bowler, and Jayasundera looked bemused with the decision, and no other technology indicated the ball had hit the batsmen’s gloves.

While the three wickets for six runs got New Zealand back into the game, they will be concerned with the fitness of Watling, who appeared to injure his left shoulder diving for a catch down the leg side when Mendis was on 31.

Watling received treatment and was able to continue, but did not look comfortable after another dive to his left later in the innings.

The hosts had resumed yesterday on 232-9 before Boult was caught by Rangana Herath off Nuwan Pradeep at mid-on for a duck. Dushmantha Chameera finished with career-best figures of 5-47 from 13 overs.

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