Mathews, Karunaratne & Dickwella star in Sri Lanka’s fighting upturn

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand 2018/19 | 1st Test – Day 1


Sri Lanka came back strongly after losing 3 wickets in the first two overs with the help of brilliant half-centuries by Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews and Niroshan Dickwella on the first day of the first Test against New Zealand, today at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. Sri Lanka was 275/9 at stumps.

The Test series began on a very unhealthy note for Sri Lanka as they were put in to bat on a green surface by Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson after he won the toss. Sri Lanka opting to go with Danushka Gunathilaka as Dimuth Karunaratne’s opening partner lost him early, which was the first of 3 early blows.

Read: Sri Lanka’s love affair with the Basin Reserve

Tim Southee, after trapping Gunathilaka with a beautiful late swinging delivery, dent Sri Lanka further with a another similar delivery to dismiss Dhananjaya de Silva caught behind. In the same over Kusal Mendis threw his wicket away leaving Sri Lanka reeling at 9/3 by the end of the 4th over.

Putting on a wonderful act of rescue opener Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews added 133 runs for the 4th wicket. The fight back was despite some quality seam bowling from the New Zealand speedsters, in conditions ideal for fast bowling.

Karunaratne and Mathews gradually settling themselves started finding the needed mojo to prosper against the world-class seam attack. The experienced combo stroked some delightful shots as they kept Sri Lanka in the safe zone by lunch.

Karunaratne in fact had his moment of luck in the 20th over as he hit a rare loose delivery straight to the hands of the mid-wicket fielder when he was on 33, only to be called back as it was found to be an over-stepped delivery.

The post-lunch session was the best session for the tourists as they lost just 1 wicket and scored 94 runs in 29 overs. During this session of play both Karunaratne and Mathews reached their half-centuries.

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Karunaratne scoring his 21st Test fifty hit 11 boundaries during his fighting knock and became the first victim of New Zealand’s short-ball barrage. Neil Wagner renowned for his quality short ball stuff claimed his first wicket as Karunaratne (79) edged an attempted pull to wicket keeper BJ Watling.

Right after the tea break Sri Lanka’s skipper Dinesh Chandimal became the second victim of the short ball as he miss-pulled a Tim Southee short ball to Ajaz Patel, who took his second catch for the day, fielding at deep mid-wicket.

Sri Lanka once again found themselves in trouble as Mathews also edged a short ball straight to Watling becoming the 5th scalp of Tim Southee. Mathews’ 33rd Test half-century worth 83 runs included 9 boundaries and a six, which came off a well hit hook to a Tren Boult short ball.

Sri Lanka’s new limited overs vice-captain, Niroshan Dickwella then took responsibility and helped Sri Lanka reach 200 with a handy little 36-run partnership with Dilruwan Perera. Dilruwan was dismissed playing a very loose shot after a well-made 38-ball 16.

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Dickwella on the other end kept impressing as he dealt the short ball barrage by the Kiwi pacers nicely and also together with the tail steered Sri Lanka towards a competitive first innings score.

His partnership following Suranga Lakmal’s dismissal, courtesy a brilliant catch by Henry Nicholls, frustrated the Kane Williamson and his men as the duo batted for 12.2 overs adding 35 stubborn runs.

Dickwella played a gem of an inning with 10 cheeky boundaries. The street-smart wicket keeper batsman reached his 10th Test half-century showing immense character and the leader in him.

Play was stopped soon as Kasun Rajitha nicked an around the wicket delivery by Trent Boult. Sri Lanka finished the day on 275 runs with Niroshan Dickwella unbeaten on 73.

Sri Lanka will be hoping to put the Kiwis further behind as they will back their pace triplet of Lakmal, Rajitha and Lahiru Kaumara who handed them a famous Test win in Barbados earlier this year.


Full Scorecard

Sri Lanka

282/10 & 287/3

(115 overs)


New Zealand

578/10 & 0/0

(0 overs)

Sri Lanka’s 1st Innings

Danushka Gunathilaka lbw by T Southee19
Dimuth Karunarathne c BJ Watling b N Wagner79144
Dhananjaya de Silva c BJ Watling b T Southee17
Kusal Mendis c A Patel b T Southee24
Angelo Mathews c BJ Watling b T Southee83153
Dinesh Chandimal c A Patel b T Southee634
Niroshan Dickwella not out80101
Dilruwan Perera c BJ Watling b de Grandhomme1638
Suranga Lakmal c H Nicholls b N Wagner312
Kasun Rajitha c BJ Watling b T Boult232
Lahiru Kumara c de Grandhomme b T Southee08
9 (lb 7, nb 2)
282/10 (90 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
1-5 (D Gunathilaka, 1.6 ov), 2-7 (D De Silva, 3.2 ov), 3-9 (K Mendis, 3.6 ov), 4-142 (D Karunarathne, 46.3 ov), 5-167 (D Chandimal, 57.2 ov), 6-187 (A Mathews, 59.3 ov), 7-223 (D Perera, 69.5 ov), 8-240 (S Lakmal, 74.2 ov), 9-275 (K Rajitha, 86.6 ov), 10-282 (L Kumara, 89.6 ov)
Trent Boult276831 3.07
Tim Southee277686 2.52
Colin de Grandhomme132351 2.69
Neil Wagner202752 3.75
Ajaz Patel30140 4.67

New Zealand ‘s 1st Innings

Jeet Raval c N Dickwella b L Kumara4370
Tom Latham not out264489
Kane Williamson c K Rajitha b D De Silva9193
Ross Taylor c D Karunarathne b L Kumara5088
Henry Nicholls c K Rajitha b D Perera50101
BJ Watling c N Dickwella b L Kumara06
C de Grandhomme c K Rajitha b D De Silva4953
Tim Southee (runout) D Chandimal614
Neil Wagner c D De Silva b S Lakmal06
Ajaz Patel b D Perera621
Trent Boult c N Dickwella b L Kumara116
8 (lb 5, w 1, nb 2)
578/10 (157.3 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
1-59 (J Raval, 22.6 ov), 2-221 (K Williamson, 59.3 ov), 3-312 (R Taylor, 84.4 ov), 4-426 (H Nicholls, 122.5 ov), 5-426 (BJ Watling, 123.6 ov), 6-499 (de Grandhomme, 138.6 ov), 7-520 (T Southee, 144.6 ov), 8-520 (N Wagner, 145.6 ov), 9-549 (A Patel, 154.5 ov), 10-578 (T Boult, 157.3 ov)
Suranga Lakmal316881 2.84
Kasun Rajitha3451440 4.24
Angelo Mathews4310 0.25
Dilruwan Perera4011562 3.90
Lahiru Kumara31.321274 4.06
Dhananjaya de Silva150542 3.60
Danushka Gunathilaka2130 1.50

Sri Lanka’s 2nd Innings

Danushka Gunathilaka lbw by T Boult317
Dimuth Karunarathne c T Boult b T Southee1013
Dhananjaya de Silva b T Southee05
Kusal Mendis not out141335
Angelo Mathews not out120323
13 (lb 2, w 8, nb 3)
287/3 (115 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
1-5 (D Gunathilaka, 3.3 ov), 2-10 (D De Silva, 4.5 ov), 3-13 (D Karunarathne, 6.2 ov)
Tim Southee258522 2.08
Trent Boult254621 2.48
Neil Wagner2341000 4.35
Colin de Grandhomme134240 1.85
Ajaz Patel2810460 1.64
Jeet Raval1010 1.00

New Zealand ‘s 2nd Innings

0/0 (0 overs)
Fall of Wickets: