Jayawardene helps Sri Lanka gain slender lead in 1st Test
Jayawardene helps Sri Lanka gain slender lead in 1st Test
Sri Lanka were in deep trouble at 50-5 following fast bowler Tim Southee’s three-wicket burst in the morning before posting 247 in their first innings in reply to New Zealand’s 221.
The tourists reached 35-1 in their second innings at stumps after losing hard-hitting opener Brendon McCullum, caught by Nuwan Kulasekara off left-arm spinner Rangana Herath who was pressed into the attack after three overs.
The match is evenly poised at this stage, with New Zealand nine runs ahead with as many wickets in hand.
Skipper Jayawardene and vice-captain Angelo Mathews (79) earlier propped up the innings with a 156-run stand for the sixth wicket.
“It’s very even at the moment. At one stage this morning it looked like we were quite away behind the game, but a brilliant fightback by Mahela and Angelo got us right into the game,” said Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford.
“We would have been certainly happy for a bigger lead but again you can’t be greedy when you are 20-4 and 50-5. Credit to New Zealand who bowled fantastically well up front, particularly with the new ball.” The hosts looked like gaining a big lead when they reached 206-5 but lost their last five wickets, including those of well set Jayawardene and Mathews, for 41 runs.
The tourists, who went wicketless in the afternoon, came back strongly to take five wickets in the last session, with off-spinner Jeetan Patel striking three times to finish with 3-55.
“After a disappointing batting effort in the first innings, the bowlers had to step up and get us back into the game. It’s an inexperienced bowling attack and we did an outstanding job,” said Southee, who finished with 4-46.
“It was swinging this morning, so we put it in the right areas. I think we deserved those early wickets. Sri Lanka bounced back with a very strong partnership between Mathews and Mahela.
“It’s even going into day three, so hopefully we can put some runs on the board and apply some pressure in the second innings.” Jayawardene looked set to complete his 32nd Test century when he was caught behind while trying to sweep Patel. He hit one six and 11 fours in his 176-ball knock.
Mathews fell soon after the tea break, caught by wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk off seamer James Franklin after hitting one six and 12 fours in his 154-ball knock.
Jayawardene and Mathews defied the tourists’ attack for more than a session with their sensible batting, confidently gathering runs against both pace and spin.
The New Zealand fast bowlers exploited the morning conditions well as they took four wickets in the opening hour to put the hosts under pressure, with Southee grabbing three and Trent Boult one.
Southee dismissed Tharanga Paranavitana and nightwatchman Suraj Randiv in his opening two overs before accounting for Thilan Samaraweera, while Boult got a big wicket when he had Kumar Sangakkara (five) caught by McCullum at third slip.
Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool passion rather than problems against Roma
- Manchester City’s team bus smashed by thrown cans and bottles ahead of their Champions League quarterfinal at Anfield.
- Klopp keen to see Reds fans respect Roma side for semifinal showdown.
LIVERPOOL: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has warned the club’s fans not to repeat the scenes that saw windows of Manchester City’s team bus smashed by thrown cans and bottles ahead of their Champions League semifinal, first leg against Roma at Anfield on Tuesday.
City became just the latest victims of a famous European night at Anfield on the pitch three weeks ago as Liverpool raced into a 3-0 first leg lead that laid the foundations for their 5-1 aggregate victory over the English champions in the quarterfinals.
However, Klopp wants to retain the passion inside the stadium without the ugly scenes outside which are the subject of a UEFA investigation.
“In the stadium do it again and better. Outside the stadium, please show the respect we have to show,” Klopp said.
“This is such an outstanding football club, an outstanding football family, known for fantastic atmospheres all over the world, so we don’t need to throw whatever at the bus of the opposing team.
The Italians will be greeted by at least one familiar face in Mohamed Salah, but it is the Egyptian who poses the biggest threat to their dream of returning to the final for the first time since they lost to Liverpool on home soil in 1984.
Salah made the move from the Italian capital to Anfield just 10 months ago, and has surpassed all expectations since with an incredible 41 goals in 46 Liverpool appearances to already net more times than he did in two years for Roma.
The 25-year-old was rewarded for his brilliant campaign by winning the Premier League’s Players’ Player of the Year award on Sunday evening, beating off stiff competition from Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne to the prize.
“I’m really happy for him, really proud of that, it is a fantastic achievement. I think if all the other players vote for you it means most to all players,” added Klopp.
“In a season like this, when Kevin de Bruyne played a season like he did, it made it even more special.”
Despite their rich heritage in the competition as five-time winners, Liverpool have not been in the last four of the Champions League for a decade.
And captain Jordan Henderson believes this season’s run to the semis can be the start of something special under Klopp.
“Hopefully this is the start of something special with this squad,” said the England international.
“The manager has been brilliant since he has come to the club. We’ve improved every season and done brilliant this season to get this stage.”
However, even Klopp’s men’s 5-1 thrashing of Premier League champions Manchester City over two legs in the last eight was upstaged by Roma coming from 4-1 down in the first leg of their quarterfinal with Barcelona to progress on away goals thanks to a famous 3-0 second-leg win.
Klopp admitted he thought it was a joke when he was first informed of Roma’s result against Barca, but insists both sides should believe they can be European champions despite the presence of powerhouses Bayern Munich and 12-time winners Real Madrid in the other semifinal.
“I do understand many people would have thought this semifinal would be City v Barcelona, but it’s not, because it is football and Roma made it possible, as we did too,” added the German.
“If anyone thinks we two are the underdogs, who cares? We are in the semifinal and can go to the final.”