2nd Test: Sri Lanka v New Zealand at Kandy, 3-7 May 2003
The Wisden Bulletin by Charlie Austin

New Zealand 1st innings: Day 3 - Tea,
Live Reports from previous days

Sri Lanka’s spinners steadily worked their way through the lower order, but Jacob Oram’s gutsy 74 and Daniel Vettori’s entertaining 55 helped New Zealand limp to a respectable first-innings total of 305.

The New Zealand innings ended with Daniel Vettori being run-out after a terrible collision with Marvan Atapattu. Both were rushed to the Kandy Hospital in an ambulance that entered the field. Vettori has an ankle injury - the seriousness of which is not yet known - while Atapattu, who was hit on the head by Vettori's helmet, has suspected concussion and a possible neck injury.

Earlier, at a venue famous for low-scoring thrillers, New Zealand’s batsmen had started the day on a precarious 75 for 4. In the post-lunch session, a further 133 runs were added before the last wicket fell minutes before the scheduled tea break.

Oram’s innings progressed after lunch as he grew in confidence against the slow bowlers. He hit 15 boundaries in his first Test fifty, capitalising on any loose deliveries – and a dropped catch at short leg when on 50.

Sri Lanka appeared set to wrap up the New Zealand tail after having ended Mark Richardson's dour knock of 55 before lunch (109 for 5 ) - caught by Kumara Sangakkara off Kaushal Lokuarachchi – but Robbie Hart provided Oram with stubborn support and the pair added 80 runs in 173 balls. They slowly wrested back the initiative that the Sri Lankam new-ball bowlers grabbed on the second afternoon.

Muttiah Muralitharan, who finished with three for 90 off 34 overs, broke through, winning a dubious leg-before decision against Hart, who had shuffled outside the line of off stump. Hart had scored 31 from 90 deliveries, hitting five boundaries (189 for 6).

Oram added 33 more with Daniel Vettori before being snared by Lokuarachchi (223 for 7). Paul Wiseman (7) was bowled by Muralitharan seven overs later, to leave New Zealand at 237 for eight. But there was more frustration in store for Sri Lanka as Vettori biffed seven boundaries in his 75-ball 55.

Eventually, Hashan Tillakaratne, in the 104th over of the innings, turned back to his pace bowlers, Prabath Nissanka and Chaminda Vaas, and took the new ball. The strategy worked as Daryl Tuffey edged Nissanka into Mahela Jayawardene’s hands at second slip (271 for 9).

Soon after Vettori brought up his fifth Test fifty with an off-driven boundary, the collision happened as Atapattu charged in from mid-off, broke the stumps with an underarm flick before crashing into Vettori.

This was not the first time that Atapattu has been involved in an on-field collision at Kandy. In 2001, he dislocated Brian Lara’s elbow while trying to affect a run out in a one-day international.

The incident also revived memories of Steve Waugh’s bloody collision with Jason Gillespie in 1999 at the same venue. Gillespie broke his leg and Waugh his nose.

© Wisden CricInfo

Date-stamped : 05 May2003 - 16:11