Thilan Samaraweera and Suraj Randiv avoid follow-on on Day Three of Colombo Test

Thilan Samaraweera scored a patient half century as Sri Lanka avoid follow-on AFP

Colombo: Nov 27, 2012

Thilan Samaraweera and Suraj Randiv put on an unfinished 96-run stand to help Sri Lanka avoid follow-on on Day Three of the Colombo Test.

Resuming at 177 for six after lunch, Samaraweera and Randiv played cautiously to not give their wickets away and added 58 runs to the total before bad light stopped play in the final session.

Samaraweera brough up his half century while Randiv did well to hold fort at the other end and was unbeaten on 34 at the end of Day’s play.

Earlier, Southee put Sri Lanka in trouble when he dismissed Angelo Mathews (47) and opener Tharanga Paranavitana (40) in successive overs. The Sri Lankan pair put on 90 after three wickets had fallen for just 12 on Monday.

Paranavitana edged Southee to wicket-keeper Kruger van Wyk while Mathews fell to a superb one-handed catch by Martin Guptill, who held the ball low to his right in the slips.

New Zealand earlier had a chance to break the fourth-wicket stand but skipper Ross Taylor dropped Paranavitana at first slip off fast bowler Trent Boult when the batsman was on 32.

Paranavitana then failed to make the most of the opportunity, adding just eight more runs before he was caught behind to become Southee’s third victim of the innings.

Southee, who also removed opener Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara on Monday, had so far taken four wickets for 39 runs off 16 overs.

Mathews, 20 overnight, played some aggressive shots in the morning as he lofted off-spinner Jeetan Patel over wide long-on for the first six of the innings and then cut the bowler past point for a four.

But Samaraweera and Randiv have started to rebuild the innings ahead of an interesting Day Four on Wednesday.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 412 (Ross Taylor 142, Kane Williamson 135; Rangana Herath 6 for 103) lead Sri Lanka 225 for 6 (Thilan Samaraweera 76*, Suraj Randiv 34; Tim Southee 4 for 39) by 187 runs.

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(With inputs from AFP)