Sri Lanka’s struggles continued as this time, they were rattled by the raw pace of Tim Southee as the visitors ended the first day’s play at 275/9 in Wellington on Saturday.
The Kiwis won the toss and opted to bowl first on a pitch that had a lot of assistance for the quick bowlers.
This decision was well justified by the quicks skipper Kane Williamson had at his disposal. Things totally went wrong for the hosts, whose skipper Dinesh Chandimal had wanted the top order to stay strong in the initial one hour of play.
Southee breathed fire with the new ball as he tore apart the top-order to leave the Lankans tottering at 9/3. Sri Lanka’s only hope now rests on the shoulders of wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella who was unbeaten on 73.
Sri Lanka’s only resistance in the match that took to a total of respectability was a 133-run stand between Angelo Mathews and Dimuth Karunaratne who had scores of 83 and 79 respectively.
For the hosts, Southee was the star with the ball as he ended with figures of 5/67 –the eighth time he took five wickets in Ann innings in Test cricket. Interestingly, it was his best figures at the Basin Reserve.
Ranked sixth in Test cricket, Sri Lanka have a poor record against New Zealand wherein they have lost all their five last matches against the Black Caps. Recently, the Islanders were humbled 0-3 at the hands of England.