Christchurch: Sri Lanka’s pacemen crashed through New Zealand’s batting line-up to leave the Black Caps in trouble at 165 for five on day two of the first Test in Christchurch, still trailing by 193 runs in reply to the tourists’ first innings total of 355.
No 5 Daryl Mitchell was 40 not out and all-rounder Michael Bracewell was on nine at stumps at Hagley Oval on Friday, the pair tasked with a rescue job after a second day dominated by the south Asians.
Unlikely place in final
Sri Lanka are bidding to grab an unlikely place in the World Test Championship final against Australia.
They will qualify if they can sweep New Zealand in this two-Test series and if Australia can deny India victory in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad.
With New Zealand captain Tim Southee having won the toss and elected to field, Sri Lanka’s batsmen gave the visitors a bright start in their mission.
Triggering a collapse
The tail added 50 runs after Sri Lanka resumed on 305 for six in the morning.
New Zealand’s openers cruised in a 67-run stand before Devon Conway was trapped lbw for 30 by Asitha Fernando.
The wicket triggered a collapse, with Kane Williams (1) and Henry Nicholls (2) dismissed in quick succession by a fired-up Lahiru Kumara as New Zealand lost three wickets for nine runs.
Tom Latham battled to a stubborn half-century in a 58-run partnership with Mitchell before he was bowled by Fernando for 67.
Kasun Rajitha then capped Sri Lanka’s day by securing a third wicket after tea when he had in-form wicketkeeper Tom Blundell caught behind for seven.