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Trent Boult

Trent Boult demolishes Sri Lanka with six wickets in 15 balls

NZ v SL, 2nd Test, day 2, report

Trent Boult produced a stunning display of swing bowling early on day two of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Christchurch before the New Zealand top order extended the team advantage.

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Boult took six wickets in 15 magical balls, conceding just four runs in that time. It reduced Sri Lanka from 94/4 to 104 all out on Thursday, 27 December, giving the home side a first-innings lead of 74.

With Jeet Raval and Tom Latham making fifties, New Zealand finished the day on 231/2, taking firm control in going 305 runs ahead.

Angelo Mathews had done well to steady the Sri Lankan innings after they had been reduced to 21/3 on the opening day, and looked set to resume his patient efforts in adding to their overnight total of 88/4. However, he found little support. 

The carnage began in the 37th over of the innings, with the pair of Tim Southee, so instrumental to proceedings on Wednesday, and Boult, who had till then gone wicketless, combining.

Boult, who had been getting the ball to shape in late, bowled a full one outside the off stump, with Roshen Silva only managing to edge it to Southee at third slip. In his next over, Niroshan Dickwella went after another full delivery that was shaping away and nicked it, as Southee stretched to his right to take a blinder.   

The last four were all out lbw for nought, completely befuddled by the movement both ways that Boult was getting. While they denied him a hat-trick, they couldn't hold off the five-for, his seventh in Tests.

The final figures of 6/30 in 15 overs were his career-best. No bowler has ever taken fewer than 15 balls to pick up six wickets.

Jeet Raval and Tom Latham put on a solid 121 runs for the opening wicket. They fought the temptation to take on anything outside off, giving the visitors few chances going into lunch. 

Raval brought up his half-century with an outside edge that went past gully and to the fence. When it looked like he'd get that much-awaited Test hundred, he fell to Dilruwan Perera for 74. Bowling around the wicket, Perera got an inside edge from the batsman, which hit the pad and lobbed to short leg. 

Kane Williamson shook off initial hesitancy to look fluent, but was stopped short of a half-century when he nicked Lahiru Kumara to Kusal Mendis at first slip.

Latham, meanwhile, was a lesson in patience in getting to his half-century, while Ross Taylor came in to strike four boundaries in a row off Suranga Lakmal, demonstrating just how easy the pitch had become for the batsmen. They were on 74* and 25* respectively at stumps. 

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