Lanka close in on victory

COLOMBO: Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath grabbed four wickets as Sri Lanka pushed New Zealand towards a massive defeat in the second and final Test today.

The Kiwis, battling for

survival after being set an improbable victory target of 494 runs, slumped to 182-6 in their second innings by close of the fourth day’s play.

Daniel Flynn was the only top order batsman to defy the Sri Lankan bowlers with 50. At stumps, Jacob Oram was unbeaten on seven and skipper Daniel Vettori was on five.

Sri Lanka won the first Test in Galle by 202 runs and a 2-0 sweep of the series will make them No 2 in the official Test rankings behind South Africa. The hosts currently share the second spot with India.

Earlier, Sri Lanka declared their second innings soon

after lunch at 311-5, in which skipper Kumar Sangakkara scored 109 and former captain Mahela Jayawardene made

96. Jayawardene edged Iain O’Brien to Taylor soon after prompting Sangakkara to declare their innings.

Sangakkara’s 20th Test

century was his third this

year and the sixth at his favourite hunting ground, the Sinhalese Sports Club.