Colombo, Nov 29 : Angelo Matthews weathered 106 deliveries for just 27 runs as a dogged Sri Lanka worked to save the second test against New Zealand on the final day Thursday.
Sri Lanka dug in to reach 107-5 at lunch, still trailing New Zealand by 256. The hosts lost just one wicket in the extended morning session and have two more sessions to salvage a draw and win the series 1-0.
Prasanna Jayawardene was 23 not out batting with Mathews at the interval at P. Sara Oval.
Thilan Samaraweera (7) was the only batsman to be dismissed Thursday morning when he pushed one to covers and attempted a risky single. He was sent back by Mathews, but was run out before making the crease.
Apart from that error of judgment, the Sri Lankans were solid all morning with both batsmen providing resistance. Their sixth wicket partnership was worth 44 runs.
No team has chased more than 352 on Sri Lankan soil to win a test match.
New Zealand are looking for their first win in Sri Lanka since 1998.
After being set an improbable 363 to win, Sri Lanka slumped to 47 for four at stumps on day four as Tim Southee and Doug Bracewell shared two wickets apiece. .