New Zealand, Dec 27 (AP/UNB) — Trent Boult broke a personal wicket drought in spectacular fashion Wednesday, taking six wickets for four runs in the space of 15 balls as New Zealand bowled out Sri Lanka for 104 on the second day of the second cricket test.
Boult, who has 224 wickets in 58 tests, began the day with 0-20 in Sri Lanka's first innings after also struggling for form in the first test at Wellington where he took 2-145.
Suddenly the dry spell of wickets turned into a flood and Boult went from 0-26 to 6-30 — his best bowling figures, narrowly missing a hat trick.
After resuming at 88-4 in reply to New Zealand's 178, Sri Lanka was all out for 104 in the space of nine overs, giving New Zealand a 74-run lead. By lunch New Zealand was 36-0 — an overall lead of 100 — with Jeet Raval 23 and Tom Latham 11.
Boult said he felt some frustration when the wickets weren't coming, though he felt he was bowling well.
"I think a little bit can creep if you let it," he told Sky Sports. "It's been a tough time.
"In the UAE it's tough conditions for a seam bowler and you come here and you almost expect it to happen. We know what works well here and we kept it in good areas."
Boult's first two wickets were caught by his new ball partner Tim Southee in the slips and his next four fell lbw, three within the space of four balls. England umpire Michael Gough gave five decisions in a row in Boult's favor.
His first victim was the overnight batsman Roshen Silva who fell for 21 in the fifth over of the morning, caught by Southee at third slip after driving at a ball which swung late.
Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella fell next to a brilliant catch by Southee, at full stretch, from a ball which also enticed the drive but left him late.
The next four wickets fell at an even more frantic pace and to similar lbw decisions.
Dilruwan Perera shouldered arms at a ball from Boult which was full and swung back onto middle stump.
Suranga Lakmal received a similar delivery from the very next ball and was hit on the toe in front of middle.
Boult had to wait until the next over to chase his hat trick, bowling to the tailender Dushmantha Chameera. Chameera met the hat trick ball with a solid forward defensive shot but was out lbw to the next ball, giving Boult three wickets in four balls and his seventh five-wicket bag in tests.
Lahiru Kumara was his final victim four balls later, also out lbw without offering a shot.
The rapid collapse of the Sir Lanka innings left New Zealand with a 74-run lead which might be pivotal in a low-scoring match. The two-test series is locked at 0-0 after the first test ended in a high-scoring draw.