Sri Lanka make solid start

COLOMBO: New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori became only the eighth player in history to achieve the double of 3,000 runs and 300 wickets as Sri Lanka made a steady start in the second Test on Wednesday.

The left-arm spinner, who has scored 3,329

runs, claimed his 300th wicket dismissing skipper Kumar Sangakkara in the afternoon session of the first day’s play. Vettori, 30, joins a select band of all-rounders including Kapil Dev (India), Ian Botham (England), Richard Hadlee (New Zealand), Imran Khan (Pakistan), Shane Warne (Australia), Shaun Pollock (South Africa)

and Chaminda Vaas

(Sri Lanka).

He is already the most successful left-arm spinner in history, having surpassed Englishman Derek Underwood’s tally of 297 wickets in the first Test in Galle last week.

Sangakkara, former captain Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera scored half-centuries as Sri Lanka went to stumps at 262-3. Jayawardene was unbeaten on 79 and Samaraweera was on 78, having shared a fourth-wicket stand of 147.

Sri Lanka plodded to 146-3 by tea before Jayawardene and Samaraweera caned the second new ball in the final session. Vettori, who began the match with 298 wickets, had opener Tharanga Paranavitana (19) edging his second delivery to Ross Taylor in the slips.

Sri Lanka suffered a crucial blow in the third over after lunch when Tillakaratne Dilshan, who hit 92 and 123 not out in the first Test, was dismissed for a lacklustre 29. Iain O’Brien, who had dropped a return catch off the previous delivery, made no mistake a second time as Dilshan mis-timed a drive and looped the ball back to the bowler.

Sangakkara and Jayawardene had put on 40 for the third wicket when Vettori was rewarded a second time during an unchanged 17-over spell to reach the milestone. Sangakkara, who made 50, pulled a short ball to mid-wicket where Jacob Oram took the catch and ran to his team-mates to join in the celebrations for their captain.