A fast paced Sri Lankan attack confident of success against the Black Caps in the second Test

Cason Rajitha appeals for wicket to Kane Williamson
picture: filming

Sri Lanka are convinced they can take 20 New Zealand wickets in the second Test starting in Wellington on Friday and tie the series despite missing the drive for the World Test Championship.

Sri Lanka’s hopes of reaching the final of the World Tennis Championships ended in the opening match of the series in Christchurch, where they lost by two wickets on a cliffhanger that decided the last ball.

As sad as that defeat was, Sri Lankan captain Demuth Karunaratne said his team had been encouraged by the amount of pressure they put on the hosts at Hagley Oval.

“We challenged the best Kiwi players,” said the opening batsman.

“Even the (New Zealand) players also spoke to me and said they didn’t expect this kind of bowling pressure from the Sri Lankans.

“I’ve toured New Zealand many times but this is the first time I’ve seen New Zealanders struggle against fast bowling.”

Sri Lanka’s chance to win a rare series in New Zealand was missed, but a win at Basin Reserve would help them end the country’s losing streak dating back to 2006 when they split the series.

The drive may prove even more challenging for the hosts in their final home game of the summer after the emotional highs of back-to-back match wins against England in Wellington and the Sri Lankans in Christchurch.

Firebrand star Neil Wagner has been ruled out with a hamstring strain and his passion will be wasted, especially if another match goes down the wire.

Neither side have decided on the 11 but New Zealand are expected to include Doug Bracewell in his first Test in seven years to join captain Tim South and Matt Henry in the pace attack.

“I think it’s a well-deserved call-up after what he’s done in local cricket over the past years,” Southe said of Bracewell, who will join his cousin Michael in the team.

“It’s exciting to have him and his skill set around the group.”

New Zealand have fond memories of their last Test at the Basin Reserve as they beat England by one run, becoming only the fourth team in history to claim victory after it was to follow.

The guys got into a limo and drove a few laps of the land to celebrate before their big night out.

Southee suggested that there would be no need to book another limousine to motivate his team.

“It’s our last Test at home for the summer, and our last for a number of months, so I’m sure the players will want to end what has been an exciting summer of Test cricket,” he said.

– Reuters