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August 27, 2009

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Sri Lanka batsmen in control

AN unbroken 147-run partnership between Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera put Sri Lanka in command of the second test against New Zealand in Colombo yesterday, as the hosts closed day one at 262-3.

New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori reached a rare double by taking his 300th test wicket to add to 3,000 test runs, but Sri Lanka dominated after that milestone was reached.

Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat, but got off to a poor start losing opener Tharanga Paranavitana (19) with the total on 34. Vettori got the breakthrough, eliciting an edge from Paranavitana to Ross Taylor at slip.

Shortly after lunch seam bowler Iain O'Brien deceived the dangerous Tillakaratne Dilshan (29) with a slower ball and took a good return catch.

Vettori then reached his rare milestone by snaring Kumar Sangakkara (50) caught by Jacob Oram.

He becomes only the eighth player to achieve the 3,000-300 double, along with Kapil Dev (India), Richard Hadlee (New Zealand), Ian Botham (England), Imran Khan (Pakistan), Shane Warne (Australia), Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka) and Shaun Pollock (South Africa).

Samaraweera and Jayawardene slowly built a partnership that changed the complexion of the game. Jayawardene made a patient 79 from 210 balls. Samaraweera went at a better clip, scoring 78 off 139 balls.


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