Sri Lanka reach 143 for 3 against New Zealand at tea

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Top-order batsman Kusal Mendis completed his 10th Test half-century and shared a 77-run stand with Angelo Mathews as Sri Lanka reached 143 for three at tea on day two of the first Test.

This left them 106 runs adrift of New Zealand, who were bundled out for 249 before lunch on a typically treacherous Galle wicket as Suranga Lakmal took four wickets.

The hosts lost Dimuth Karunaratne early in the extended afternoon session. The captain, who was dropped on 19 by Ross Taylor at first slip, was on 39 when he was trapped lbw by Ajaz Patel.

Mendis and Mathews used their feet expertly against the spin bowlers, finding the boundary frequently and forcing skipper Kane Williamson to bring back his pacemen.

Tim Southee and Trent Boult were able to stop the run flow but the stand for the third wicket looked impregnable.

Mendis reached his half-century with a boundary to the leg-side off Ajaz Patel and a lapse in concentration saw him being dismissed off the very next ball, caught by Taylor at first slip. Patel had claimed all three Sri Lankan wickets to fall by tea.

Mendis' 53 came off 89 deliveries with seven fours and one six. Mathews was unbeaten on 41 off 83 balls with six fours and one six.

Earlier, New Zealand resumed on 203 for five but lost their last five wickets with the addition of just 46 runs.

Ross Taylor was the top scorer in the New Zealand innings with 86. He was dismissed on the first ball he faced on day two when he attempted a cut shot and was caught behind.

Lakmal hardly put a foot wrong on the second day and backed up off-spinner Akila Dananjaya, who finished with five wickets.

Sri Lanka lose Thirimanne early after skittling Kiwis for 249

New Zealand's spinners created problems for Sri Lanka on Thursday at a typically treacherous Galle wicket, dismissing Lahiru Thirimanne cheaply and nearly getting skipper Dimuth Karunaratne too.

Sri Lanka went to lunch on day two of the first Test on 34 for one, trailing New Zealand by 215 runs.

Earlier Sri Lanka bundled out New Zealand for 249 as the tourists lost five quick wickets and added just 46 runs to their overnight score.

Ross Taylor went for 86 on his first delivery of the day as he attempted a casual cut shot to a harmless delivery from seamer Suranga Lakmal and was caught behind.

Mitchell Santner then shouldered arms to a Lakmal ball that nipped back and was trapped leg before wicket for 13.

William Somerville was given caught bat-pad to Akila Dananjaya but he successfully overturned the decision after a review to deny the off-spinner his sixth wicket.

Tim Southee's promising innings was cut short when he was run out on 14 attempting a suicidal single.

Lakmal then removed Trent Boult and Ajaz Patel in successive deliveries to finish with figures of four for 29. He will be on a hat-trick when New Zealand resume their second innings.

Thirimanne, controversially picked ahead of former captain Dinesh Chandimal, made an early return to the pavilion after falling to a terrible shot.

Patel had replaced Boult from the Dutch Fort End and Thirimanne gave the left-arm spinner the charge but got nowhere near the pitch of the ball, missing it completely and Watling completed an easy stumping.

Two balls later, Karunaratne offered a chance to Taylor at first slip attempting a drive off Somerville but the fielder failed to hold onto the chance.

Lakmal takes four as Sri Lanka skittle New Zealand for 249

Seamer Suranga Lakmal took four wickets as Sri Lanka bowled out New Zealand for 249 on day two of the first Test in Galle on Thursday.

Resuming from their overnight score of 203 for five, the tourists lost their last five wickets for 46 runs as Lakmal dominated.

Ross Taylor was dismissed for 86 on his first delivery of the day as he attempted a casual cut shot to a harmless Lakmal delivery and was caught behind.

Mitchell Santner then shouldered arms to a Lakmal ball that nipped back and was trapped leg before wicket for 13.

William Somerville was given caught bat-pad to Akila Dananjaya but he successfully overturned the decision after a review to deny the off-spinner his sixth wicket.

Tim Southee's promising innings was cut short when he was run out on 14 attempting a suicidal single.

Lakmal then removed Trent Boult and Ajaz Patel in successive deliveries to finish with figures of four for 29. He will be on a hat-trick when New Zealand resume their second innings.

New Zealand will be disappointed with their batting display as most batsmen got off to starts but failed to convert them into big scores.

Play resumed 15 minutes early on Thursday after 22 overs were lost on day one due to rain. A total of 98 overs are expected to be bowled on Thursday, although rain is predicted after tea.

Dananjaya grabs five as New Zealand slip to 179-5

Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya claimed five wickets to put New Zealand on the back foot despite Ross Taylor's unbeaten half-century in the first Test in Galle Wednesday.

Dananjaya, bowling with a remodelled action after being reported for a suspect action last year, trapped BJ Watling for one at the stroke of tea to register his fourth five-wicket haul in six matches.

New Zealand were 179 for five, having recovered from 71-3 at lunch as Taylor and Henry Nicholls put on 100 runs to lead the tourists' fightback.

Taylor was unbeaten on 70 after New Zealand elected to bat first at the start of the two-match series.

Dananjaya, who took three wickets in the first session including skipper Kane Williamson's prized scalp for nought, trapped Nicholls lbw for 42 to break the fourth-wicket century stand.

Taylor handled pace and spin with aplomb as he registered his 31st Test fifty.

Earlier, openers Jeet Raval and Tom Latham put on 64 runs before Dananjaya struck on a pitch that is already offering big turn.

Latham was the first to go after being caught behind for 30 as Dananjaya got the left-handed batsman to poke at a delivery that was turning away.

Williamson fell three balls later when he flicked one straight into the hands of his opposite number Dimuth Karunaratne at short midwicket.

In the last over before lunch, Raval failed to pick a googly and was caught at first slip by Dhananjaya de Silva for 33.

Both Sri Lanka and New Zealand are playing their first match of the World Test Championship, which has nine top teams competing for supremacy in the five-day format.

New Zealand opt to bat in first Sri Lanka Test

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat in the opening Test against Sri Lanka in Galle on Wednesday.

The Kiwis return to cricket action in the World Test Championship after their heartbreaking World Cup defeat to England last month.

Rain in the island nation hasn't helped New Zealand in their preparation ahead of the two-match series but Williamson expects his players to rely on their past experience.

"Rain most days, so hasn't been a huge amount of cricket and preparation. It's important guys pull in their past experiences and just look forward to the challenge ahead," Williamson said at the toss

"Pulling out the Test blueprints that are important to our game, despite not getting the build-up to the cricket that we would have liked before hand. It's important we make the adjustments quickly."

The Kiwis have opted for two seamers, Trent Boult and Tim Southee, while leaving out Neil Wagner, who took nine wickets in their last Test match.

Dimuth Karunaratne-led Sri Lanka have left out Dinesh Chandimal, despite his recall to the squad after a sixth-month exile, giving wicketkeeping duties to Niroshan Dickwella.

The hosts have also left out Oshada Fernando and Vishwa Fernando, two of the heroes from their series win in South Africa in February.

"It's a good turning track. We need to get the basics right and bowl the right line and length," said Karunaratne.

"Last time we played in South Africa, we did really well. We need to keep the momentum and compete with New Zealand."

Teams

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Embuldeniya, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, William Somerville, Trent Boult, Ajaz Patel

Umpires: Michael Gough (ENG), Richard Illingworth (ENG)

TV umpire: Bruce Oxenford (AUS)

Match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)

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