Sri Lanka vs New Zealand 3rd Test, Day 5 preview: New Zealand in driver’s seat

Tom Latham 100 Sri Lanka New Zealand

Another rain-curtailed day at Colombo saw New Zealand taking a lead of 138 runs with five wickets remaining in the innings. But with just one day left for the Test a draw looks like on plate for the viewers.

Play began after the scheduled lunch break and Tom Latham and BJ Watling took the momentum from the beginning. They started from where they left on day three. Latham completed his 150 as Watling was composed as ever. Even though Latham was gone for 251-ball 154, Watling never stooped. He found another able partner in Colin de Grandhomme who was playing shots all over the ground.

After nearly a full day's play on Saturday, on Sunday, there were only 48 overs possible. The advantage for Kiwis is that they were able to gather 186 runs and that too for the loss of only Latham's wicket. The day ended with New Zealand going solid with Watling (81 off 208) and Grandhomme (83 off 75) looking solid in the middle.

On the other hand, Sri Lanka with no such gain from day three will focus to wrap up New Zealand innings at the soonest. With only one day in hand, the Lankans can think of going for solid defense during their batting. Moreover, Dimuth Karunaratne did not take the field at all out due to a small tear in his quadriceps, sustained at the time of fielding on Saturday. So even if they get a chance to bat, this will be a headache.

In all probability, this match will end in a draw. So whatever time play is possible tomorrow, Watling and Grandhomme will target to get their respective hundred. In a rain-affected match, this should be a nice treat for the fans.

Key players:

Colin de Grandhomme (New Zealand)- The way Grandhomme played his knock and shared the responsibility with Watling, he will e key factor for New Zealand. He has the ability to accelerate the scoreboard and increase the lead in a relatively smaller time span.

Dilruwan Perera (Sri Lanka)- The most successful bowler for Sri Lanka has to be really effective. He already picked up three major wickets of the opponents. Now he will have to take that extra responsibility to finish New Zealand innings at earliest.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 382/5 (Tom Latham 154, Colin de Grandhomme 83*; Dilruwan Perera 3/114) lead by 138 runs vs Sri Lanka (Dhananjaya de Silva 109, Dimuth Karunaratne 65; Tim Southee 4/63, Trent Boult 3/75)

Prediction:

A draw, thanks to the weather.