WELLINGTON, New Zealand's Tim Southee tore through Sri Lanka's top order in a devastating opening spell before veterans Dimuth mKarunaratne and Angelo Mathews steadied the tourists' innings on day one of the first Test in Wellington Saturday.
Southee claimed three wickets in his first two overs as the Black Caps'
decision to bowl on a green Basin Reserve wicket after winning the toss paid
Sri Lanka were reeling at three for nine before Karunaratne and Mathews'
rescue mission sent them into lunch at 73 for three.
Mathews was on 30, and Karunaratne on 36 after being given a life on 33
when Neil Wagner had him caught at midwicket, only to have the delivery
ruled a noball due to a foot fault.
Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal said before the match that he wanted his
top order to survive the first hour and see off the new ball but the wickets
began to tumble in just the second over.
Danushka Gunathilaka was Southee's first victim, out lbw for one after
failing to deal with a late inswinger.
Dhananjaya de Silva then edged through to the keeper for the same score and
a clearly rattled Kusal Mendis only managed to reach two before hitting a
simple catch to Ajaz Patel at midwicket.
Southee ended the session with three for 19, following up his triple strike
with some economical bowling.
However, with the pitch appearing to settle, the New Zealanders will be
keen to break the KarunaratneMathews partnership early in the second session
and expose a long Sri Lankan tail.
Sri Lanka, ranked sixth in the world, have lost their last five Tests
against New Zealand and suffered a 30 Test series whitewash against England
They have faced upheaval in their coaching and selection ranks in recent
weeks and arrived in New Zealand low on confidence.
In contrast, the fourthranked Black Caps enter the twomatch contest
buoyed by their first away Test series win over Pakistan in 49 years last
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)