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Chameera five-for puts Sri Lanka on top

New Zealand finishes second day of final Test at 232 for 9, trailing by 60 runs after visiting side posts 292

Chameera five-for puts Sri Lanka on top - Cricket News
Dushmantha Chameera celebrates the wicket of Ross Taylor.
Sri Lanka was primed to take the lead after a Dushmantha Chameera burst helped it reduce New Zealand to 232 for 9, a deficit of 60, on the second day of the final Test in Hamilton on Saturday (December 19).

Chameera claimed his maiden five-wicket haul and ended the day with 5 for 47 as New Zealand collapsed from a seemingly secure position of 81 without loss after bowling Sri Lanka out for 292 in the morning.

At stumps, Doug Bracewell was unbeaten on 30, having put on 31 for the ninth wicket with Neil Wagner (17), who was dismissed on the last ball of the day.

Chameera, 20, touched speeds up to 146kph and used short-pitched deliveries as his main mode of attack. He was utilised in short spells by Angelo Mathews, the captain, and returned 3 for 17 in his first spell, and 2 for 30 in his second.

New Zealand started off well with Martin Guptill and Tom Latham putting on 81 for the opening wicket, with Guptill scoring a fine half-century. But the stand was broken by Chameera, when he had Latham caught at leg gully in just his second over. New Zealand’s innings unravelled thereafter as it lost four wickets in as many overs for just eight runs – Chameera had Kane Williamson (1) and Ross Taylor (0) dismissed even as Herath removed Guptill for a 77-ball 50.

With New Zealand reduced to 89 for 4, Brendon McCullum attempted to resurrect the innings, steering clear of risks to put on 39 for the fifth-wicket with Mitchell Santner. The stand was ended when Herath had McCullum dismissed for a 54-ball 18, but Santner carried on to add 40 with BJ Watling.

Santner fell to Nuwan Pradeep, but New Zealand’s lower order continued to fight, with Watling going on to add 28 with Bracewell. Watling eventually succumbed to Suranga Lakmal for an 82-ball 28, and soon after, Chameera was promptly reintroduced. He removed Tim Southee and Wagner to complete his five-wicket haul and leave New Zealand in a whole lot of trouble.

In the morning, Sri Lanka, resuming the day at 264 for 7, managed to add just 28 runs to its total, with Mathews doing most of the scoring before falling for 77, caught at third slip by Latham off Southee. Thereafter, Lakmal and Chameera added four runs apiece before falling to Bracewell and Wagner as New Zealand wrapped up the Sri Lanka innings.

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