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New Zealand took the advantage by picking up three wickets in 13 balls to reduce Sri Lanka to 264 for 7 at stumps on a rain affected first day of the second Test between the two nations which began at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Friday.

Sri Lanka was put into bat by New Zealans skipper on a green wicket. Even as the conditions were good for swing bowling, Sri Lankan openers Dimuth Karunaratne (12) and Kusal Mendis (31) played with caution and saw them through the first hour of play without losing wickets. But Southee struck in quick succession to remove both the openers.

Kusal-mendisDinesh Chandimal ones again scored a well compile (47) and Udara Jayasundera (26) adopted a more patient approach after the dismissals of both the openers, putting on a half-century stand for the third wicket.

Soon after tea, Jayasundera tried to look for a second run which was not there to be run out. Then Bracewell, got Chandimal playing an expensive drive to a full delivery to be caught by wicketkeeper BJ Watling for a well made 47.

Then Angelo Mathews (63 not out) and Milinda Siriwardana with a magnificent (62) resurrected Sri Lanka’s innings with a brilliant 138-run stand. However, Trent Boult struck twice in one over with his out swingers, removing well set Siriwardana and Kithuruwan Vithanage (0) to make things worse for Sri Lanka. Rangana Herath (4) gifted his wicket to a run out, four balls before rain stopped play in the 67th over.

Southee and Boult finished with two wickets apiece, while Watling again had three catches to his name. If not for the two silly run-outs, Sri Lanka played really good cricket, something which the scorecard doesn’t reflect.

Sri Lanka 264/7 (Angelo Mathews 63 Not Out, Milinda Siriwardana 62, Dinesh Chandimal 47, Kusal mendis 31, Udara Jayasundara 26; Trent Boult 2-43, Tim Southee 2-51)

Milinda-Siriwardena