A typically free-flowing hundred by Luke Ronchi and a semi-sporting declaration by Sri Lanka A have given New Zealand A a chance at victory in their four-day match, in Dambulla.
They'll need to bat well on the final day, but the Dambulla deck has shown there are plenty of runs in it.
Ronchi scored 134 off just 137 balls in New Zealand A's first innings before his side was bowled out for 391, a deficit of 164 after Sri Lanka scored 555-6 declared.
Sri Lanka A then blazed 275-4 off just 49 overs before declaring again and setting their guests 440 runs to win in 95 overs.
New Zealand A skipper Tom Latham and fellow opener Carl Cachopa reached 15 without loss at stumps and their side require a further 425 in the final day.
New Zealand A started the penultimate day on 224-4 in their first innings with Latham on 77no and Ronchi 60no, but Latham was bowled on the second ball of the day.
Ronchi, who hit 16 fours and two sixes in his second hundred on the tour, then added 72 with all rounder Andrew Ellis (29) and another 36 with Todd Astle (21) before becoming one of Nuwan Pradeep's four victims. Ish Sodhi then scored a quickfire 30 batting at number 10.
The hosts upped their already impressive first innings run-rate of 4.33 and took to New Zealand A.
They put on 81 for the first wicket in just 14 overs and went after New Zealand A's three medium fast bowlers. Doug Bracewell took 0-32 from four overs, Matt Henry took 0-20 from four and Ellis went for 35 from his six after conceding just 25 runs from his 18 first innings' overs.
Anton Devcich picked up three wickets despite the onslaught, taking 3-120 from 20 overs while Sodi (1-63) took the other wicket.
The final day is set to resume at 4.30pm New Zealand time.
Sri Lanka A 555-6d and 275-4d (K Vithanage 71, D Karunaratne 62, D Perera 55, D Chandimal 43; A Devcich 3-120) met New Zealand A 391 (L Ronchi 134, T Latham 77, Devcich 39, C Cachopa 38, I Sodi 30; N Pradeep 4-101, M Pushpakumara 3-86) and 15-0.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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