Kumar Sangakkara becomes quickest batsman to score 12000 Test runs
Sri Lanka veteran Kumar Sangakkara became the fifth cricketer to surpass 12,000 runs and fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep took 4-63 to help the visitors dismiss New Zealand for 221 on the opening day of the second test on Saturday.
Sri Lanka sought to reassert itself after losing the first test in the two-match series at Christchurch by sending the hosts to bat first on a green pitch at Basin Reserve and claiming New Zealand’s last eight wickets for 81 runs.
But the tourists couldn’t build on the momentum at bat, losing five wickets for 78 runs at the start of their innings before stumps.
Sangakkara, who was 33 not out at stumps, started the first test in Christchurch needing 12 runs to reach the 12,000-run milestone but was out for 6 and 1, delaying his admission to an elite group whose members include Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis and Rahul Dravid.
He comfortably reached the number on Saturday, but as he did, Sri Lanka’s innings began to disintegrate around him with the rapid dismissals of Dimuth Karunaratne (16), Kaushal Silva (5), Lahiru Thirimanne (0), Angelo Mathews (15) and Prasanne Jayawardene (6).
New Zealand had fared similarly in its innings. The hosts were in a strong position at 141-2 shortly after lunch, but their innings unraveled quickly following the dismissals of Ross Taylor for 35, top-scorer Kane Williamson for 69 and captain Brendon McCullum for a two-ball duck.
Pradeep shared seven wickets with Suranga Lakmal (3-71) as Sri Lanka swung the momentum its way temporarily in the session between lunch and tea.
McCullum was attempting to follow up his match-winning innings of 195 in the first test on the grounds where he scored 302 against India 11 months ago. After receiving the keys to the city of Wellington in recognition of his triple century, he arrived at the crease Saturday to a raucous ovation and left six minutes later to muted applause.
Pradeep missed the first test at Christchurch, but rejoined the team as one of three changes to the Sri Lanka lineup. He was able to make good use of a green pitch that offered seam movement to beat his previous test best of 4-123. He’s now taken 18 wickets in nine tests.
Many of the dismissals throughout the day looked similar. McCullum, Taylor, Williamson and Silva were all out chopping the ball onto their own stumps. Silva was the most unfortunate, playing a defensive push and then failing to react when the ball spun backward and bounced onto the bails.
New Zealand lost both openers – Tom Latham (6) and Hamish Rutherford (37) – before lunch to catches by wicketkeeper Prasana Jayawardene. Jayawardene also later caught Jimmy Neesham for 15.
Neesham avenged his dismissal in Sri Lanka’s innings by taking two catches at slip of Doug Bracewell to remove both Jayawardene (6) and Dimuth Karunaratne (16). New Zealand seamer Trent Boult also dismissed Karunaratne for the third straight innings after taking him out in both innings at Christchurch.
Thirimanne fell for a duck to Bracewell, who replaced Neil Wagner in the New Zealand lineup and captured 3-23.
“On a pretty scratchy wicket, I think the boys did well to hang in there to get so many runs on the board,” Boult said. “We knew the wicket was going to do enough and to get them five down for 78, 15 wickets in the day, made it a pretty successful day.”