Angelo Mathews' resistance keeps New Zealand at bay at Colombo

Angelo Mathews was unbeaten on 63 © AFP

Colombo: Nov 29, 2012

Angelo Mathews remained unbeaten on 63 as Sri Lanka reached 168 for seven at tea against New Zealand on the final day, in a bid to force follow-on at the P Sara Oval on Thursday.

Mathews reached 63 not out off as many as 211 balls, accompanied by Nuwan Kulasekara at 18 off 37 balls.

Sri Lanka lost two wickets in the session.

Earlier at lunch, Sri Lanka all-rounder Mathews provided stiff resistance to a New Zealand bowling onslaught on the fifth day of the second Test as the hosts lost just one wicket for 60 runs in the first session.

Sri Lanka took lunch on Day Five at 107 for five, still traling by 256 runs with two sessions to go in the match.

Mathews scored a patient 27 off 106 balls and was supported well by wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene (23 off 69 balls) as the duo shared a 44-run partnership following the departure of Thilan Samaraweera (7).

Mathews looks determined to play out the rest of the day and looks rock-solid against the Kiwi attack. Jayawardene is no novice with the bat either and the Lankans would hope that the duo can stick it out till the end of the day.

The pitch has nothing to offer to the Kiwi bowlers and their pacemen, Tim Southee and Doug Bracewell, are not getting much help out of it. 

Brief Scores: New Zealand 412 and 194 for 9 dec. (Ross Taylor 74, Todd Astle 35; Rangana Herath 3 for 67) lead Sri Lanka 244 and 168 for 7 (Angelo Mathews 63*, Prasanna Jayawardene 29; Doug Bracewell 2 for 13, Tim Southee 2 for 40) by 195 runs.

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