A brilliant century stand between opener Dimuth Karunaratne (84) and an unbeaten knock of 83 by wicket keeper and No-4 bat Dinesh Chandimal for the third wicket helped Sri Lanka reach 197 for 4 on Day 2 of the first Test at the University Oval in Dunedin on December 11 (Friday).
Having claimed six wickets in the final session on Thursday, Sri Lanka produced an improved bowling performance and struck twice through speedster Nuwan Pradeep to dismiss the last two batsmen to reduce New Zealand to 431 in the first innings.
Kusal Mendis (8), playing his second Test, edged a Trent Boult delivery that left him and took the outside edge to be caught by wicket keeper BJ Watlings, to give his 100th Test dismissal.
Debutant Udara Jayasundera (1) lasted just six deliveries. When he saw a wide ball from Neil Wagner while trying to cut, the left-hander got an edge to be caught by keeper Watling.
With the scorecard reading 29 for 2, Sri Lanka were in dire straits, but fortunately, Chandimal and Karunaratne dug them out of trouble with their sensational century stand.
When Sri Lanka passed 150 and reached safety, Karunaratne fell 16 short of his fourth Test ton, square cutting left arm spinner Santner to be caught behind by Watling.
Sri Lanka soon suffered another blow when their in-form skipper Angelo Mathews was dismissed cheaply by Tim Southee, giving Watling his fourth catch in the match. Sri Lanka were reduced to 156 for 4.
However Vithanage (10) and Chandimal (83 not out) hung into see till the end of second day’s play.
Brief scores: New Zealand 431 all out in 96.1 overs (Pradeep 4-112, Lakmal 2-69 and Chameera 2-112) lead Sri Lanka 197 for 4 in 81 overs (Mendis-8, Jayasundara-1,Karunaratne 84, Chandimal 83 Not Out, Mathews-2 and Withanage-10 Not Out) By 234 Runs at stumps of the second day’s play.