Sri Lanka rebuild after Southee’s triple strike

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

immediate dividends.

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

last month.

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

week.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)