By BV Swagath
Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath claimed his 11th five-wicket haul as New Zealand were spun out for a modest total of 221 on the opening day’s play of the Galle Test. The Kiwis had some consolation towards the end of Day 1 with Sri Lanka off to a bad start at 9 for 1 losing debutant opener Dimuth Karunaratne.
The Kiwis won the toss and elected to bat first on a sunny morning and by lunch were in trouble at 80 for 3 with seamer Shaminda Eranga taking two wickets and Nuwan Kulasekara getting the big fish Ross Taylor.
The visitors then rebuilt their innings in the afternoon session through a 90-run stand between Brendon McCullum and Daniel Flynn. However, both the batsmen failed to convert their fifties into three figures. McCullum who opened the batting scored 68 (from 125 balls with 8 fours and 2 sixes) while Daniel Flynn made a patient 53 (from 152 balls with 7 fours) before they got out to Rangana Herath.
New Zealand kept on losing wickets after the fourth wicket stand and were skittled out in 82.5 overs with Herath taking 5 for 65 in 30 overs and Eranga picking up 3 for 31.