Vincent, Fleming help Kiwis take lead

Associated Press

Wellington, April 12:

Lou Vincent and Stephen Fleming shared an unbroken century partnership on Tuesday to give New Zealand a 42-run first innings lead with six wickets in hand on the second day of the second Test against Sri Lanka. Vincent reached 80 and Fleming 60 to guide New Zealand to 253 for four in reply to Sri Lanka’s 211 before dark clouds descended on the Basin Reserve and ended play an hour before scheduled stumps. Vincent was promoted from No 6 to No 4 in the New Zealand order to shield Fleming who had taken a stinging blow on the inside of the left knee while fielding at slip on Monday. Fleming went to the wicket when New Zealand lost two wickets to consecutive balls in the middle of the second session, slipping to 153-4 and stumbling in its progress toward a first innings lead. Vincent took 125 minutes to reach his half century, a milestone spattered with six boundaries and highlighted by a straight hit six.

Fleming’s defence was emphatic and his attacking game blossomed as he reached his half century in 110 minutes, from 95 balls with seven boundaries.

New Zealand’s innings faltered twice Tuesday: in the morning when it lost twins James and Hamish Marshall in the space of nine runs to be 70-2, and later when it lost Craig Cumming (47) and Nathan Astle (0) to consecutive balls. Chaminda Vaas trapped Cumming lbw with a classic off-cutter, then seamed a ball sharply back at Astle to take the bat, pad and glove on the he way to short leg. Fleming survived the hat-trick ball and settled down to play an innings

which redeemed his team and his summer.