Akila Dananjaya
Sri Lanka's Akila Dananjaya celebrates taking the wicket of New Zealand's BJ Watling during the day one of the first test cricket match against New Zealand in Galle, Sri Lanka, on August 14, 2019. Image Credit: AP

Galle, Sri Lanka: Ross Taylor was approaching a 19th test century and holding New Zealand's innings together as the tourists ended a rain-shortened opening day of the first cricket test against Sri Lanka at 203 for five.

Only 34 deliveries were possible in the third session Wednesday after heavy rains accompanied by strong winds lashed across the Galle stadium from the Indian Ocean shortly after tea.

Taylor remained unbeaten on 86, having scored his 31st test half century. He had made his runs off 131 balls and including six boundaries. Mitchell Santner was batting with him on eight.

Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya took his fourth five-wicket haul in tests and had 5-57 in 22 overs at stumps.

New Zealand openers Tom Latham and Jeet Raval gave the Black Caps a steady start, adding 64 runs for the first wicket. But three quick wickets fell to leave the visitors three wickets down for 71 at lunch.

Taylor and Henry Nicolls added 100 runs for the fourth wicket but New Zealand again lost two quick wickets close to the tea break.

Nicolls tried to play a sweep to Dananjaya bowling around the wicket and was given out lbw. Nicolls made 42 from 78 deliveries.

B.J. Watling (1) tried to pull a shorter delivery from Dananjaya but was too quick on the shot and was also trapped lbw right before tea.

Dananjaya struck twice to remove opener Latham and skipper Kane Williamson for a duck in the same over in the first session.

Latham, who scored 30 from 88 balls, was on the back foot from a bouncing delivery from Dananjaya in the 27th over and edged the ball to recalled wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella.

Williamson was out three balls later without scoring, also beaten by the bounce when he pushed the ball straight to Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne at short mid-wicket.

Raval was on 33 just before the lunch interval when he played forward defensively and edged to Dhananjaya de Silva at slip.

"Tough at times" the ball certainly spun probably little bit earlier than we thought," Nicolls said after the day's play. "We expected it to be turning on this wicket, the way Akila bowled throughout he put pressure on us..."

"We know on these surfaces in the subcontinent when you do get a wicket sometimes it can turn into two or three, so me and Ross heading in after lunch we were just trying to keep it simple."


New Zealand
J. Raval c De Silva b Dananjaya 33
T. Latham c Dickwella b Dananjaya 30
K. Williamson c Karunaratne b Dananjaya 0
R. Taylor not out 86
H. Nicholls lbw b Dananjaya 42
B.J. Watling lbw b Dananjaya 1
M. Santner not out 8
Extras (nb1, lb2) 3
Total: (5 wickets, 68 overs) 203
Fall of wickets:
1-64 (Latham), 2-64 (Williamson), 3-71 (Raval), 4-171 (Nicholls), 5-179 (Watling)
To bat: T. Southee, T. Boult, W. Somerville, A. Patel
Bowling: Lakmal 10-5-14-0 (1nb), Kumara 10-1-37-0, Dananjaya 22-2-57-5, De Silva 6-0-20-0, Embuldeniya 20-1-73-0.

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

Toss: New Zealand
Umpire: Michael Gough and Richard Illingworth (England)
Third Umpire: Bruce Oxenford (Australia)
Match Referee: Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe)