Chasing a target of 268 runs, Sri Lanka are on the driving seat, thanks to Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne’s unbeaten half-centuries. The duo has taken the team’s score to 133 without loss before stumps on 4th day of the 1st Test match of the two-match series against New Zealand at the Galle International Stadium.

Earlier on Saturday, the guests were bundled out for 285 runs, hence setting a target of 268 for the hosts.

Karunaratne and Thirimanne started the Lankan innings and batted sincerely to score 71 and 57 runs, respectively, before bad light forced an early end to play with the Kiwi bowlers struggling the entire day to get a wicket.

Chasing the tricky target, Karunaratne and Thirimanne put together an unbeaten 133-run partnership for the first wicket and denied the Kiwi bowlers any wickets.

On a challenging surface that continued to deteriorate, the duo was seen mostly defending a challenging opening spell from Trent Boult and Tim Southee in the first session. They shifted gears from the next session to swiftly take their side to over 100 runs in the 39th over.

It was also Sri Lanka’s highest ever partnership in the fourth innings.

Earlier, opting to bat, the visitors were bundled out for 249 runs, courtesy Akila Dananjaya and Suranga Lakmal, who scalped five and four wickets, respectively. The islanders then managed 267 runs as Ajaz Patel rattled the Sri Lankan top-order.

The Kiwis were then again wrapped up for 285 runs in their second innings, setting a 268-run target for the hosts.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 267 all out and 133/0 (Dimuth Karunaratne 71, Lahiru Thirimanne 57) vs New Zealand 249 and 285

(With inputs from IANS)