Fiery Southee leads New Zealand fight
Seamer Tim Southee spearheaded a great fightback by New Zealand on day two of the first Test against Sri Lanka to leave the match fascinatingly poised on Sunday.
Southee's four for 46 was crucial in helping to restrict the home side’s first-innings lead to 26 as they were bowled out for 247.
Although New Zealand then lost Brendon McCullum (13) in their second innings, they were still able to close on 35 for one - a lead of nine.
Southee started the day with a burst of three for 18 from seven overs and with Trent Boult (two for 46) at the other end providing excellent support, Sri Lanka were reduced to 50 for five having resumed at nine for one. The Kiwis made 221 first up.
The fact Sri Lanka were able to secure a lead was due almost entirely to an outstanding partnership of 156 for the sixth wicket between captain Mahela Jayawardene (91) and his deputy Angelo Mathews (79).
Jayawardene, who became the second player after former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming to top 1,000 runs in Tests between the two sides, hit 11 fours and a six during a stay of 176 balls. He was eventually dismissed gloving an attempted sweep off spinner Jeetan Patel (3/55), well caught by the tumbling Kruger van Wyk behind the stumps.
It was the sixth time Jayawardene has been dismissed in the 90s in Tests but he still had the satisfaction of extending his remarkable record at Galle, where he has scored 2,284 of his 10,631 Test runs.
NEW ZEALAND (I Innings): 221 all out
SRI LANKA (I Innings):
Paranavitana b Southee 0
Karunaratne lbw Southee 0
Randiv c Guptill b Southee 9
Sangakkara c McCullum b Boult 5
M J’wardene c Van Wyk b Patel 91
Samaraweera lbw Southee 17
Mathews c Van Wyk b Franklin 79
P J’wardene c Bracewell b Patel 4
Kulasekara c&b Patel 8
Herath (not out) 11
Eranga c Bracewell b Boult 4
Extras (B-9, LB-8, NB-2) 19
Total (all out, 80.2 overs) 247
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-9, 3-18, 4-20, 5-50, 6-206, 7-215, 8-229, 9-242.
Bowling: Boult 16.2-3-46-2, Southee 18-4-46-4, Bracewell 16-1-67-0, Franklin 7-2-16-1, Patel 23-7-55-3.
NEW ZEALAND (II Innings):
Guptill (batting) 13
McCullum c K’sekara b Herath 13
Williamson (batting) 9
Total (for 1 wkt, 10 overs) 35
Fall of wicket: 1-18
Bowling: Kulasekara 4-0-17-0, Eranga 1-0-4-0, Herath 4-0-13-1, Randiv 1-0-1-0.