Black Caps hit back on disrupted opening day

Ross Taylor

Ross Taylor

New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling believes the Black Caps can take plenty of positives into the second Test against Sri Lanka, despite a six-wicket defeat in the first match of the series.

Recalled all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme says the second test against Sri Lanka is in the balance but pinpointed early wickets on day two as crucial if the Black Caps are to square the series.

"If we can get a couple of early wickets tomorrow morning that will be nice".

The early returns would have been more frustrating than the wait to get underway, as the Black Caps seam bowlers saw a slew of edges slither through the slips cordon, none of them going to hand, as Dimuth Karunaratne (49 not out) and Kusal Mendis (32) put the hosts in a strong starting position. Somerville induced a false stroke from Lahiru Thirimanne who lobbed an easy catch to Williamson at short cover to end a 59-minute vigil for two runs at the wicket.

Kane Williamson (Captain), Jeet Raval, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Todd Astle, William Somerville, Mitchell Santner, Tom Blundell, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, B.J. Watling, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel and Neil Wagner.

Karunaratne whose knock of 122 paved the way for Sri Lanka's successful run chase in the first Test at Galle, once again led his team from the front batting throughout the afternoon session of play to score 37 not out out of 71.

"I think it was just being patient and sticking to the area for a bit longer, then waiting for him to make a mistake on a surface like that", de Grandhomme said of his late scalp.

Watling, though, insists New Zealand played well in spells throughout the first Test, suggesting missed chances to dismiss Sri Lanka's key figures were crucial in deciding the outcome.

Both teams made one change from the first match.

After 7.3 overs in the evening session, play was called off due to bad light.

Sri Lanka replaced Akila Dananjaya, who has been reported for a suspected illegal bowling action, with another spin bowler, Dilruwan Perera.

Latest News