Cricket: Wright reaches runs milestone

New Zealand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .288 and 104-0

Sri Lanka . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .327-6 dec

JOHN WRIGHT, the New Zealand opening batsman, became the first player from his country to score 5,000 runs in Test cricket with an unbeaten 38 against Sri Lanka in the first Test match in Colombo yesterday. By the close of the fourth day, New Zealand were 65 runs ahead with the openers, Blair Hartland and Wright, undefeated in a second-innings partnership of 104. Poor catching by the Sri Lankan slips, coupled with rain and bad light, has virtually assured a draw.

Sri Lanka, resuming at 299 for 4, batted for half an hour following a late start because of rain and declared with their first innings at 327 for 6.

Hartland, the 26-year-old Canterbury right-hander, survived chances at 10 and 31 before going on to complete his maiden Test half-century off 144 balls which included five fours.

Chandika Hathurusinghe was the first offender, dropping Hartland at third slip off the fast bowler, Dulip Liyanage, and then Aravinda de Silva put him down at first slip off the left-arm spinner, Don Anurasiri.

Wright was also given a let-off when he had scored six, when the first slip, Hashan Tillekeratne - normally a wicketkeeper - failed to get his hands under an outside edge off Arjuna Ranatunga's first over.

(Sri Lanka won toss)

NEW ZEALAND - First Innings 288 (K R Rutherford 105, C Z Harris 56; D Liyanage

4-82).

SRI LANKA - First Innings

(Overnight: 299 for 4)

R S Mahanama run out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153

U C Hathurusinghe c Jones b Nash. . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

A P Gurusinha c Vaughan b Su'a. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43

P A de Silva c Nash b Su'a. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62

H P Tillekeratne b Owens. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

* A Ranatunga c Parore b Owens. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

G P Wickremasinghe not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

C P H Ramanayake not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Extras (lb7, nb16, w9). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32

Total (for 6 dec). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .327

Fall: 1-27 2-164 3-297 4-299 5-300 6-309.

Did not bat: D Liyanage, S D Anurasiri, J Warnaweera.

Bowling: Su'a 25-6-62-2; Owens 17-3-63-2; Nash 18-2-62-1; Vaughan 14-0-56-0; Harris 15-5-64-0; Jones 1-0-3-0; Crowe 2-0-10-0.

NEW ZEALAND - Second Innings

B R Hartland not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50

J G Wright not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38

Extras (lb6, nb10). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

Total (for 0). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104

To bat: A H Jones, * M D Crowe, K R Rutherford, C Z Harris, J T C Vaughan, A C Parore, D J Nash, M Su'a, M Owens.

Umpires: K T Francis and T M Samarasinghe.