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

Ross Houston
August 14, 2019

All things considered, though, New Zealand certainly have the edge.

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Vishwa Fernando. Yes, Sri Lanka have beaten South Africa and Australia at home in recent years, but that was with the assistance of the now retired Rangana Herath, and the injured Dilruwan Perera.

Sri Lanka and New Zealand will take on each other in the first test on Wednesday, August 14.

Dananjaya struck twice to remove opener Tom Lathan and skipper Kane Williamson for a duck in the same over in the first session to reduce New Zealand to 71-3.

But Sri Lanka has some tough choices, and in all departments.

Sri Lanka will look to avenge their World Cup 2019 defeat, when they lost to New Zealand by 10 wickets. In fact, for the most part of the session, Sri Lanka's spinners were perhaps guilty of bowling too full, allowing the duo of Taylor and Nicholls to sweep. This puts the pressure squarely on Akila Dananjaya to carry Sri Lanka's spin attack on what should be a fairly accommodating Galle surface. This will be his first outing in the longer format of the game since he remodelled his action earlier this year.

The match will be played at Galle International Stadium in Galle.

The Black Caps now sit second on the rankings on 111 points, two behind India who open a two-test series against West Indies in the Caribbean next week.

Sri Lanka are set to welcome back Dinesh Chandimal, dropped for the series in South Africa because of poor form, and Angelo Mathews, who missed the South Africa tour because of an injury.

Likewise, Colin De Grandhomme might be a good option in the conditions of New Zealand where the ball moves around, but taking him in the squad to Sri Lanka makes little sense. The match began with the visitors winning the toss and electing to bat first. However, the opening duo played late and looked to deal the Sri Lankan mainstay in a diet of singles. Muttiah Muralitharan is the highest. We couldn't for example stop the flow of runs.

The 25 year old turned the ball both ways with a canny mixture of deliveries, and completely changed the complexion of the innings after being introduced into the attack in the eighth over - a sign of how important spin will be during this test.

The left-hander kept improving and ended as one of the best Kiwi batsmen in the knockouts. They are really looking forward to the opportunity in another country where the conditions will be slightly different again.

Other reports by iNewsToday