| Hashan Tillekeratne pulls one en route to his defiant 93 in Kandy Tuesday (AFP)
Kandy: Hashan Tillekeratne scored a gritty 93 as the second and final Test between Sri Lanka and New Zealand drifted towards a likely draw on Tuesday.
Tillekeratne steered Sri Lanka to within touching distance of New Zealandís 305 first innings total before being last man out as Sri Lanka finished on 298.
Opener Mark Richardson then scored his second fifty of the match as New Zealand ended the day on 92 for one.
Richardson added 65 for the first wicket with Matt Horne, who scored 27 before being caught at forward short leg off Muttiah Muralidharan.
Richardson was unbeaten on 51 having hit one six and six fours, batting with captain Stephen Fleming on 10. Tillekeratne, anchored the Sri Lanka innings during two slow-scoring sessions to compile a five-and-a-half-hour 93, including 12 fours.
The 35-year-old, a surprise appointment as Sri Lanka Test captain after the resignation of Sanath Jayasuriya, narrowly missed out on his third successive Test century.
Sri Lankaís injured batsman Maravan Atapattu defied medical advice and went into bat but could only manage 10 minutes at the crease before retiring hurt. Atapattu had been advised complete rest by the doctors after suffering concussion and an ankle injury during a midfield collision with Daniel Vettori Monday. He had to be removed from the field in an ambulance and taken to hospital.
Sri Lanka had made a cautious start to the day, adding 101 runs during the morning and just 72 in 28 overs during the middle session.
Appearing to have settled for a draw, the hosts changed their strategy immediately after the tea break. Tillekeratne stroked three quick boundaries as 31 runs were added in 6.3 overs before the left-hander chopped an off-break from Paul Wiseman on to his stumps.
Wiseman, the only spinner used after Vettoriís injury, was the most successful bowler, picking four for 104 from 32.3 overs.
Jacob Oram also starred for the Black Caps, following a career best 74 with the bat on Monday with three for 54 from 20 overs with the ball.
Earlier in the day, Wiseman had grabbed two wickets as Sri Lanka lost Jayasuriya, Romesh Kaluwitharana and Kumara Dharmasena during the first session of play.
Jayasuriya, on 53 overnight, looked set for his 11th Test hundred after starting the morning with a flurry of boundaries, cutting powerfully and straight driving down the ground. But he was caught at slip by Fleming for 82 from 110 balls. (Reuters)