Sri Lanka 6-177 (Thilan Samaraweera 76*, Angelo Matthews 47, Tim Southee 4-51) trail New Zealand 412 (Ross Taylor 142, Kane Williamson 135, Rangana Herath 6-103) by 187 runs.
Thilan Samaraweera played an anchor’s role in the first innings of Sri Lanka and avoided a follow on against New Zealand that looked eminent at one stage.
New Zealand amassed 412 runs in the first innings and Sri Lanka managed 225 runs for the loss of six wickets in 86.2 overs.
The play of the third day ended on November 27, 2012, at P Sara Oval, Colombo.
Earlier, the Islanders started the day in a dismal position since they had lost three top order batsmen for just 43 runs in 17 overs at stumps on day two. The two not out batsmen, Angelo Matthews and Tharanga Paranavitana initiated at their overnight score of 20 and 9 runs accordingly. The pair did not look in a hurry and crawled to 64 runs in 25 overs as the latter hit the first boundary of the day in the next over. Matthews hit the only six of the innings on the third ball of the 32nd over as Pranavitana was dropped in the first slip by Ross Taylor off Trent Boult at 32 runs.
The first hundred of the innings was attained in the 37th over and Tharanga Pranavitana was caught behind by Kruger van Wyk off Tim Southee for 40 off 112 with 3 fours. The fourth wicket was gone at 102 runs and one run later Angelo Matthews was gone for 47 off 111 deliveries with 1 six and 5 fours. Thilan Samaraweera and Prasanna Jayawardene tried to assemble the innings but were able to add just 25 runs when the latter was caught by Kane Williamson off Jeetan Patel for 12 runs.
Suraj Randiv joined in next with Samaraweera and started the repair work while putting their heads down. Randiv preferred to defend and scored just six runs from the first 31 balls he faced as 150 of the innings appeared on board in the 59th over. The pace of scoring was too slow and the batsmen looked like securing their wickets most of the times. Thilan Samaraweera completed his hard earned 30th Test fifty in the 74th over scored off 114 deliveries with 3 fours and the second hundred of the innings was reached in the 81st over.
The Lankan Lions averted the follow on when Samaraweera hit a four on the second ball of the 84th over and the score went past 212 runs mark. The visitors were unable to make a breakthrough as the seventh wicket association produced substantial 97 runs and the score touched 225 at stumps on day three with four wickets still in hand. Thilan Samaraweera was unbeaten on 76 off 156 with 5 fours and Suraj Randiv was going well at 34 off 102 with a 2 fours.
Tim Southee was the most impressive bowler off the lot with four wickets whereas Trent Boult and Jeeatn Patel shared one wicket each.
New Zealand still has an upper hand in the match as Sri Lanka trail by 187 runs. The Black Caps will try to rip through the remaining wickets at the earliest for dictating their terms in the match whereas the Islanders will look for the stability from their remaining batsmen and especially from the unbeaten duo at the crease.