Sri Lanka claim first Test

Sri Lanka completed an emphatic 10 wicket win over the BLACKCAPS on day three of the first Test in Galle today.

The victory at Galle International Stadium means they travel to the next Test in Colombo with a one-nil lead in the two match series.

Rangana Herath claimed six for 43 as New Zealand crumbled to 118 all-out in 44.1 overs after starting the day with a lead of nine with nine wickets in hand.

The batting collapse started with Martin Guptill falling in the second over of the morning and continued through to the final wicket tumbled just after lunch.

Daniel Flynn top scored with 20 with the rest of the recognised batsman making double figures except for James Franklin who scored two.

Some late hitting came from Tim Southee who thumped 16 off 14 and Trent Boult who cleared the rope twice in his score of 13 but the damage was done.

The Sri Lanka openers, Tharanga Paranavitana (31*) and Dimuth Karunaratne (60*), polished off the 93 required in 18.3 overs. 

Man-of-the-match Herath was outstanding, picking up his second successive five-wicket haul to finish with match figures of 11 for 108.

Sri Lanka were bowled out for 247 in their first innings on Sunday in reply to New Zealand's 221, with captain Mahela Jayawardene scoring 91 and Angelo Mathews making 79.

Quick bowler Tim Southee took four wickets and spinner Jeetan Patel three for the BLACKCAPS.

Day 2: BLACKCAPS bounce back on day two

Tim Southee led a brilliant fight-back with a classy display of swing bowling to leave honours even at the end of day two in the first Test at Galle.

Starting the day on nine for one, Sri Lanka managed 247 before having ten overs to bowl at the New Zealand openers.  Rangana Herath managed to snare the wicket Brendon McCullum, caught on the boundary for 13, with New Zealand finishing the day on 35 for one to give them a nine run lead at stumps.

The day two revival was sparked by Tim Southee who ripped through the Sri Lankan top order to leave them in all sorts of trouble at 50 for five before a brilliant sixth wicket stand rescued the home team.

"After a disappointing batting effort in the first innings the bowlers had to step up and get us back into the game," said Southee.  

"It was swinging this morning and we put it in the right areas and asked a lot of questions. We deserved those wickets early in the morning.

"It’s an inexperienced bowling attack and I think we did an outstanding job and grabbed the game back.

"We're even going into day three so hopefully we can put some runs on the board and apply some pressure for the second innings.

"Sri Lanka bounced back with a very strong partnership with Angelo and Mahela but luckily after tea there was a great comeback."

The first breakthrough came after three overs with Tharanga Paranavitana bowled by Southee for a duck with the New Zealand strike bowler removing Suraj Randiv for nine in his next over for nine.

Trent Boult then got involved, nicking out Kumar Sangakkara for five before Southee was back in the action, trapping Thilan Samaraweera in front for 17.

Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews then combined to steady the ship and take their team through to 105 for five at lunch.

The pair played with more freedom in the middle session and were still unbroken at tea but the 156 runs stand was broken shortly after the break by James Franklin who had Mathews caught behind for 79. 

Spin was expected do most of the damage but it wasn’t until late in the day that Jeetan Patel delivered the goods.  First he had Prasanna Jayawardene caught at backward square for four before securing the big wicket of Mahela Jayawardene, caught behind, for 91.

Patel then took a return catch off Nuwan Kulasekara to finish with figures of three for 55.

Trent Boult closed out the innings by removing tail-ender Shaminda Eranga for four and returned a tidy two for 46 but it was his new-ball bowling partner Tim Southee who deserves the plaudits.

Southee’s four for 46 included the Sri Lankan top three as well as the highly experienced Samaraweera.

Martin Guptill (13) and Kane Williamson (9) will resume tomorrow.

Day 1: NZ make 221 on day one

The BLACKCAPS were limited to 221 by Sri Lanka who exploited the slow turning pitch on day one of the first Test at Galle International Stadium, Galle.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, New Zealand crept along at a run-rate of 2.66 with the last wicket falling in the 83rd over but did manage to pick up a late wicket to leave the hosts nine for one at stumps.

“It was not the bowling performance we were after,” said Brendon McCullum.  “Clearly when you win the toss and bat first at Galle you’re hoping for a score in excess of 400.”

“Looking forward to tomorrow, we’ve got a bit hour at the start of the morning where we have to try and expose the Sri Lankan middle order as early as possible.

“If we do that then today’s mis-fortune or disappointment will be a little bit easier to handle.”

It was the Sri Lankan new-ball bowlers who inflicted the early damage.  Shaminda Eranga had Martin Guptill caught at second slip for 11 in the sixth over and two balls later nicked-off Williamson for a duck while Taylor was bowled out in the ninth by Nuwan Kulasekara for nine.

Brendon McCullum and Daniel Flynn went about repairing the innings with the pair batting through to 80 for three at lunch.

The runs appeared to come comfortably in the early stages of the middle session but the ball after McCullum whacked Rangana Herath for six he had his off-stump clipped and had to depart for 68.

That wicket, along with tight bowling by the spinners, dried up the scoring with 11 runs coming in the next 13 overs.   James Franklin was eventually trapped LBW for three off 43.

Flynn continued to battle hard and was rewarded with a half-century but then perished in the last over before tea for 53.  The nuggety left-hander chased a short-wide delivery from Herath only to get a bottom edge leaving New Zealand 155 for six at the end of the session.

The final session saw the most action with the remaining four New Zealand wickets tumbling along with Sri Lankan debutant Dimuth Karunaratne.

Herath had Doug Bracewell caught at slip for 12 and then bowled out Kruger van Wyk for 28 to take his fifth wicket and leave the tourists 198 for eight.

The seamers returned to take the final two scalps.  Southee was caught at point off the bowling of Eranga for 12 while Boult had his stumps rearranged by Kulasekara after making seven.

New Zealand had five overs to complete and looked threatening from the outset.  Southee was rewarded with the one wicket to fall, trapping Karunaratne for a duck.

Tharanga Paranavitana (0) and night-watchman Suraj Randiv (3) will resume tomorrow on nine for one.

 

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