Sri Lanka paceman Suranga Lakmal took four wickets, including the prize scalp of captain Kane Williamson, to reduce New Zealand to 51-4 at lunch Wednesday on the first day of the second cricket test at Hagley Oval.
Lakmal dismissed both openers, Jeet Raval for 6 and Tom Latham for 10, in a quick double strike in the ninth and 11th overs to reward Sri Lanka’s decision to bowl after winning the toss.
He then captured the wicket of Williamson, who scored 91 in his only innings in the first test at Wellington, to remove New Zealand’s top batsman for just two runs.
Shortly before lunch Lakmal bowled Henry Nicholls for 2 to finish with 4-18 after bowling unchanged through the morning session.
The pitch at Hagley Park was green and moist after mixed weather conditions in Christchurch making Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal’s decision to bowl first after winning the toss an easy one.
The Sri Lanka bowlers missed their length for the first 40 minutes, bowling short of an effective length when bounce wasn’t likely to be a factor.
Lakmal was the first to settle on and maintain a fuller length which enticed the New Zealand batsmen onto the front foot where they were susceptible to the ball moving off the seam.
Raval, needing a good peformance in this match to solidify his place at the top of the New Zealand order, looked sound at first before mistiming a shot in the ninth over as he sought to turn a ball from Lakmal into the on-side. He was through the shot too early, the ball struck the leading edge and looped to Chandimal at mid-off.
Latham sought to drive the ball into the on-side in the 11th over, forced the shot and edged a catch to second slip where Kusal Mendis took a good catch low and to his left.
Williamson (2) looked far from comfortable during a 31 minute stay at the crease. He followed a ball from Lakmal which ducked away from his off stump and edged a catch to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella.
Henry Nicholls then pushed forward at a ball from Lakmal, bowling around the wicket to the left-hander, which straightened enough to pass between bat and pad and hit the stumps.
At lunch Ross Taylor was 22 not out, with wicketkeeper B.J. Watling on 7.
Source: The Associated Press