The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Black Caps fight back
Daniel Vettori and Maravan Atapattu, injured in a collision in Kandy Monday, had to be both stretchered off. (AP)

Kandy: Daniel Vettori and Maravan Atapattu were both injured in a fielding collision as New Zealand fought their way back into contention on the third day of the second Test on Monday. At close, Sri Lanka were 94 for two in reply to New Zealand’s 305.

Vettori was the last man out for the visitors when he was run out for 55 by an underarm flick from Atapattu, who was hurtling in from mid off.

Both players collided and were carried from the field in separate stretchers before being rushed to hospital for X-rays and treatment. The X-rays revealed no serious damage but doctors have advised Vettori to rest an injured ankle and have fitted a precautionary neck brace on Atapattu, who was concussed.

The players were discharged from hospital and advised to rest by doctors. Both teams will decide on Tuesday whether they are fit enough to take part in the fourth day’s play.

“Good news is that Dan does not have a fracture,” said manager Jeff Crowe. “His left ankle is heavily swollen and is in a splint. We can make an assessment of it only after 24 hours. We would err on the side of caution rather than rush him back into action.”

Lanka manager Ajit Jayasekera said: “Maravan had two injuries, a spiked ankle and mild concussion after being hit behind the ear by Vettori’s helmet. He should be okay in a day or two.”

The Black Caps, who had started the day at a precarious 75 for four after a delayed start, frustrated a Sri Lanka side looking to wrap up the innings quickly.

They then grabbed the wickets of stand-in opener Kumar Sangakkara (10) batting in place of Atapattu, and Mahela Jayawardene (15) before the close. Sanath Jayasuriya cracked 10 boundaries in an unbeaten 53, his 24th Test half century while skipper Hashan Tillekeratne was batting on 10.

New Zealand chiselled out 230 runs in the day thanks to a patient 55 from opener Mark Richardson, a career-best 74 from allrounder Jacob Oram and an entertaining boundary-studded innings from Vettori before his collision with Atapattu. Oram completed a fine day with the scalp of Jayawardene.

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