Karunaratne helps Sri Lanka to 85-2 on rain-hit first day
Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne helped Sri Lanka to 85 for two at stumps on a rain-hit day one of the second Test against New Zealand in Colombo yesterday. Only 36.3 overs were possible after rain washed out the first session and bad light ended play for the day with Karunaratne unbeaten on 49. Karunaratne, fresh from a match-winning century in the first Test in Galle last week last week, hit six boundaries during his 100-ball stay in overcast conditions.
Former captain Angelo Mathews was giving Karunaratne company in the middle to remain unbeaten on nought after facing 14 deliveries. New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme, who made the XI in place of Mitchell Santner, said the match was “evenly poised”. “There’s a bit of more bounce on this track than what we encountered in Galle and that’s nice,” he said after play ended. “If we can get a couple of early wickets tomorrow morning that will be nice.”
Karunaratne batted with positive intent despite losing opening partner Lahiru Thirimanne and Kusal Mendis either side of tea. Thirimanne never looked comfortable and his 59-minute stay at the wicket produced just two runs. His misery ended when he pushed a William Somerville delivery and was caught at extra cover by skipper Kane Williamson.
He had been earlier dropped by wicketkeeper B.J. Watling off Somerville. Mendis looked good as he reached 32 with four fours and put on 50 runs with Karunaratne to steady the batting.