Martin hits Sri Lankans for six

Agence France Presse

Wellington, April 11:

New Zealand fast bowler Chris Martin destroyed the cream of Sri Lankan batting with career best figures of 6-54 as the Black Caps dominated the opening day of the second cricket Test at the Basin Reserve. Sri Lanka were all out for 211, recovering from 86-7, and New Zealand were 52 without loss at stumps — James Marshall on 24 and Craig Cumming 14. Playing his 23rd Test, Martin’s return topped his previous best of 6-76 against South Africa in March last year, while Thilan Samaraweera surived on luck to topscore with his eighth half-century before being the last wicket to fall for 73. For much of Sri Lanka’s innings Martin toiled away as the only New Zealand bowler to threaten their talent-laden top order, despite ideal conditions for bowling.

With a cool southerly breeze at his back Martin had his first wicket within three balls after New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl. He unleashed a sharp inswinger and had first Test centurymaker Marvan Atapattu edging a full delivery to Lou Vincent at third slip. In his third over, Martin had Kumar Sangakkara caught by James Marshall at gully for 16 and four balls later he trapped Mahela Jayawardene trapped leg before wicket for one. Opener Sanath Jayasuriya (22) then prodded at one in Martin’s next over to be caught by Nathan Astle at second slip, and Sri Lanka were four for 41. But as much as Martin had been a lethal one-man strike force, he received little assistance at the other end until Nathan Astle (3-35) came into his own to mop up the late resistance.