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Herath spins Lanka to victory

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CRICKET / Returns six for 43

THE HERO:Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath (right) finished the Test with 11 for 108, his second haul of 10 or more wickets in a match.— PHOTO: AFP
THE HERO:Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath (right) finished the Test with 11 for 108, his second haul of 10 or more wickets in a match.— PHOTO: AFP

Rangana Herath exposed New Zealand’s weakness against spin with a six-wicket haul as Sri Lanka raced to an emphatic 10-wicket win on the third day of the opening Test here on Monday.

The left-arm spinner finished with six for 43 off 18 probing overs as New Zealand, trailing by 26 runs, crashed to 118 in the second innings.

Sri Lanka effortlessly chased down a 93-run target, with debutant Dimuth Karunaratne remaining unbeaten on 60 and Tharanga Paranavitana 31 not out.

Karunaratne, who failed to open his account in the first innings, made amends with a 60-ball knock which included nine fours.

Herath, who took five for 65 in the first innings, finished the Test with 11 for 108, his second haul of 10 or more wickets in a match.

Middle-order batsman Daniel Flynn, who made a half-century in the first innings, top-scored with 20 in a dismal New Zealand batting performance on a slow turning track.

It was New Zealand’s fifth successive Test defeat this year after it lost two matches each in the West Indies and India.

The Test was evenly poised at stumps on Sunday when New Zealand was nine runs ahead with as many wickets in hand, but Herath swung the match in his team’s favour with four quick wickets in the morning. — AFP

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