A counter-attacking 86 from middle-order stalwart Ross Taylor kept New Zealand in the hunt on Day One of their opening Test against Sri Lanka at Galle.
On a day which ended prematurely due to persistent showers, Akila Dananjaya’s five-wicket haul helped Sri Lanka restrict the Kiwis to 203-5.
The day started promisingly for the visitors after skipper Kane Williamson elected to bat first with openers Jeet Raval and Tom Latham adding 64 runs for the first wicket.
The hosts came roaring back towards the end of the first session with Dananjaya’s off-spin fetching three quick wickets before lunch.
The Sri Lanka off-spinner first removed Latham by drawing an edge toward the slips before dismissing Williamson for a duck in the very same over. The New Zealand skipper could only tap a simple return catch to his Sri Lanka counterpart Dimuth Karunaratne at short mid-wicket after the ball gripped in the surface.
The Kiwis were suddenly reduced to 71-3 at the stroke of lunch after Dananjaya had Raval caught-behind before Taylor and Henry Nicholls rescued the situation for the visitors.
The duo added exactly 100 runs for the fourth wicket before Nicholls fell at the stroke of tea. The left-hander was dismissed for 42 by the off-spinner after failing to make contact with his attempted sweep.
Dananjaya gave Sri Lanka more reasons to smile before tea by trapping BJ Watling plumb on the pads for just one run. Taylor continued to fight for New Zealand at the other end with some gutsy strokes and the right-hander was inching towards a 19th Test ton before rain brought an early halt to proceedings at Galle.
First Test Day One Scorecard
New Zealand: 203-5 (68 overs)
Ross Taylor: 86 not out
Akila Dananjaya: 5-57
Know more about Sport360 Application