Sri Lanka's Dananjaya takes 5, New Zealand 179-5 in 1st test

14 Août, 2019, 13:58 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • New Zealand are set to play their first ever match under the aegis of the two-year cycle of the championship

Captain Dimuth Karunaratne said his team, written off before the South Africa tour, had gained significant confidence from that series, although that positivity has been offset by backroom problems. Just when it seemed as if New Zealand would end up without losing a wicket in the session, Dananjaya again turned out to be Sri Lanka's go-to-man, as the spinner trapped Nicholls in front.

On July 14 at Lord's, New Zealand came up second to Eoin Morgan's top-ranked ODI team in the 2019 World Cup final.

The hosts have dumped head coach Chandika Hathurusingha halfway through his three-year tenure, with former fast bowler Rumesh Ratnayake now filling in on an interim basis.

Williamson, the prize wicket, was out three balls later without scoring, also beaten by the bounce when he pushed the ball straight to Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne at short midwicket. New Zealand will rely on him to do the bulk of the bowling. If India beat West Indies 2-0 they retain top spot, but a 1-0 win wouldn't be enough to hold off the Black Caps if they managed a 2-0 win in Sri Lanka. The conditions are suited perfectly for Sri Lanka and I see New Zealand struggling against spin.

This will be Sri Lanka's first Test at home since Rangana Herath's retirement. This will be his first outing in the longer format of the game since he remodelled his action earlier this year.

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New Zealand, with 109 points in Test cricket, are ranked behind India on 113 points, but a 2-0 series win in Sri Lanka will see the Kiwis leapfrog the Asian heavyweights. Visiting spinners have also had a fair bit of success in Sri Lanka recently, and Patel and co. will have studied closely.

"Angelo (Mathews) and Dinesh Chandimal are in this squad now, so there might be a few changes to the top order that played in South Africa", Karunaratne said.

According to the International Cricket Council's rankings calculator, a 2-0 series sweep would lift New Zealand past current leaders India to 115 points and the No 1 ranking for the first time.

The Sri Lanka captain further spoke about the importance of drying up runs up in the first Test since the pitch is more batting-friendly than it usually is in Galle.

Latham and Jeet Ravan had combined for a patient opening stand of 64 from 160 deliveries after New Zealand won the toss and batted.

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