15 Dec 2018

Southee sparks Black Caps with five-wicket haul

7:15 pm on 15 December 2018

Tim Southee has bagged his first five-wicket haul at the Basin Reseve as the Black Caps battled a stubborn Sri Lankan fightback on day one of the first test in Wellington.

Southee ended the day with figures of 5-67, his eighth five-wicket bag in 62 tests, as Sri Lanka fought back from a disastrous start to a solid 275-9 at stumps.

Tim Southee

Tim Southee Photo: Photosport

Angelo Mathews and Dimuth Karunaratne stood strong against the early New Zealand onslaught, after a fiery opening spell from Southee left Sri Lanka reeling with three wickets gone for nine runs in just four overs.

The Black Caps seam attack made good use of the overcast and occasionally blustery conditions after skipper Kane Williamson won the toss, with Southee particuarly lethal.

Danushka Gunathilaka was first to go, trapped leg before for one in the second over. He was followed in rapid succession by Dhananjaya de Silva, caught behind by wicketkeeper BJ Watling for one, and Kusal Mendis, caught at short midwicket by Ajaz Patel for two.

Colin de Grandhomme came close to picking up a fourth wicket half an hour before lunch, when Karunaratne spooned a full toss to midwicket, but replays confirmed he had overstepped for a no ball.

Mathews and Karunaratne eased Sri Lanka through to 77-3 at lunch, the pair further steadying the innings in adding another 65 runs for the fourth wicket. Neil Wagner brought the 133-run partnership to a close with a short ball which Karunaratne gloved through to Watling when he was on 79.

Southee then picked up the wickets of skipper Dinesh Chandimal for six and Mathews (83) with consecutive overs following the tea break.

De Grandhomme chipped in when Dilruwan Perera nicked another catch for Watling when he was on 16, Wagner adding Suranga Lakmal (3) to the list of casualties four overs later.

Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella proved trickier to dislodge, and carried his bat through to stumps, his 73 off 91 balls including 10 boundaries.

Kasun Rajitha capitulated for two on the last ball of the day, edging Trent Boult to the safe gloves of Watling for his fifth catch of the day.