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Gritty Williamson fights to keep NZ alive

By The Assam Tribune
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WELLINGTON, Jan 5 (AFP): Kane Williamson and BJ Watling produced an unbroken sixth wicket stand of 94 to keep New Zealand alive on the third day of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Wellington today.

New Zealand were 253-5 at stumps, a 118-run advantage with five wickets in hand, after the stubborn Williamson-Watling partnership recovered the innings from a perilous 159-5

Williamson was on 80, in sight of his ninth Test century, and Watling was on 48, nearing his ninth half century.

However, despite their dogged fight, the odds remained in favour of Sri Lanka pulling off a series-levelling win after losing the first Test in Christchurch by eight wickets.

For New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, returning to the Basin Reserve for the first time since his match-saving 302 against India a year ago, there were to be no heroics this time.

He was out for 22 while Jimmy Neesham, who scored a century in the India Test, was out for 19.

After McCullum�s departure it fell to Williamson to shoulder responsibility for keeping New Zealand afloat.

He was dropped on 29 and again on 60 in an otherwise cautious innings in which the partnership has seen off the second new ball and ensured the Test should extend deep into the fourth day at least.

New Zealand had ended the first day of the Test in charge after making 221 on a bowler�s wicket and reducing Sri Lanka to 78-5 in reply.

Kumar Sangakkara�s imperious 203 on the second day led Sri Lanka to a 135-run first innings lead and gave the tourists the advantage.

Openers Tom Latham and Hamish Rutherford started the New Zealand second innings positively, reaching 75 before their reply was ripped apart in a 30-ball burst that claimed three wickets.

SCORECARD

New Zealand 1st innings 221

Sri Lanka 1st innings 356

New Zealand 2nd innings (overnight 22-0): T Latham c Jayawardene b Pradeep 35, H Rutherford c Chandimal b Pradeep 40, K Williamson not out 80, R Taylor b Herath 0, B McCullum lbw Prasad 22, J Neesham lbw Pradeep 19, B Watling not out 48. Extras: (lb6 w2, nb1) 9. Total: (five wickets, 101 overs) 253. Fall of wickets: 1-75, 2-78, 3-79, 4-122, 5-159. Bowling: Lakmal 20-2-50-0, Pradeep 19-3-57-3, Herath 32-8-58-1, Prasad 19-1-53-1, Mathews 11-3-29-0.

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Gritty Williamson fights to keep NZ alive

WELLINGTON, Jan 5 (AFP): Kane Williamson and BJ Watling produced an unbroken sixth wicket stand of 94 to keep New Zealand alive on the third day of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Wellington today.

New Zealand were 253-5 at stumps, a 118-run advantage with five wickets in hand, after the stubborn Williamson-Watling partnership recovered the innings from a perilous 159-5

Williamson was on 80, in sight of his ninth Test century, and Watling was on 48, nearing his ninth half century.

However, despite their dogged fight, the odds remained in favour of Sri Lanka pulling off a series-levelling win after losing the first Test in Christchurch by eight wickets.

For New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, returning to the Basin Reserve for the first time since his match-saving 302 against India a year ago, there were to be no heroics this time.

He was out for 22 while Jimmy Neesham, who scored a century in the India Test, was out for 19.

After McCullum�s departure it fell to Williamson to shoulder responsibility for keeping New Zealand afloat.

He was dropped on 29 and again on 60 in an otherwise cautious innings in which the partnership has seen off the second new ball and ensured the Test should extend deep into the fourth day at least.

New Zealand had ended the first day of the Test in charge after making 221 on a bowler�s wicket and reducing Sri Lanka to 78-5 in reply.

Kumar Sangakkara�s imperious 203 on the second day led Sri Lanka to a 135-run first innings lead and gave the tourists the advantage.

Openers Tom Latham and Hamish Rutherford started the New Zealand second innings positively, reaching 75 before their reply was ripped apart in a 30-ball burst that claimed three wickets.

SCORECARD

New Zealand 1st innings 221

Sri Lanka 1st innings 356

New Zealand 2nd innings (overnight 22-0): T Latham c Jayawardene b Pradeep 35, H Rutherford c Chandimal b Pradeep 40, K Williamson not out 80, R Taylor b Herath 0, B McCullum lbw Prasad 22, J Neesham lbw Pradeep 19, B Watling not out 48. Extras: (lb6 w2, nb1) 9. Total: (five wickets, 101 overs) 253. Fall of wickets: 1-75, 2-78, 3-79, 4-122, 5-159. Bowling: Lakmal 20-2-50-0, Pradeep 19-3-57-3, Herath 32-8-58-1, Prasad 19-1-53-1, Mathews 11-3-29-0.