• Southee’s five-for doesn’t hold Lankans at bay

    New Zealand paceman Tim Southee reduced Sri Lanka to 9-3 on the first day of the first Test in Wellington before a middle-order revival rescued the day for the Lankans.

    Tim Southee struck early on the first morning to remove Danushka Gunathilaka (1), Dhananjaya de Silva (1) and Kusal Mendis (2), leaving Sri Lanka three down with just nine runs on the board.

    Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews added 133 for the fourth wicket off 256 balls to right the Lankan ship, before Karunaratne was caught behind by BJ Watling off Neil Wagner for 79 off 144 balls (11×4).

    Mathews was the sixth wicket to fall with the score on 187, Mathews top-scoring with 83 off 153 balls (9×4, 1×6) before Southee came around the wicket, cramping him with a short ball that he gloved behind to Watling.

    Niroshan Dickwella shepherded the tail through to a solid score, adding 35 off 76 balls with Sri Lanka’s No 10, Kasun Rajitha, who contributed just two runs to the score before being caught off the last ball of the day, Watling snatching his fourth catch of the innings.

    Sri Lanka ended the day on 275-9 after 87 overs, with Dickwella undefeated on 73 off 91 balls (10×4). Southee (5-67) and Wagner (2-75) secured the bulk of the wickets for New Zealand, who would be unhappy to have let Sri Lanka off the hook after their terrific start to the day’s play.


    Photo:  Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

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    Simon Lewis