Mathews leads Sri Lanka fightback against Kiwis

Wellington: Angelo Mathews produced a perfect blend of aggression and application to lead Sri Lanka to 264 for seven before steady rain forced early stumps on the opening day of the second Test against New Zealand in Hamilton on Friday.

Put in to bat first, Sri Lanka got off to a slow and steady start before kiwi pace spearhead Tim Southee removed both openers Kusal Mendis (31) and Dimuth Karunaratne (12).

Udara Jayasundera (26) and Dinesh Chandimal then built the innings by adding 71 runs for the third wicket before the former was run out by some sharp fielding from Mitchell Santner, reported.

Chandimal fell three runs short of his third consecutive 50 after scoring two brilliant half-centuries in Dunedin.

Subsequently, captain Mathews found an able ally in left-hander Milinda Siriwardana (62) as the duo consolidated the innings by constructing a vital 138-run stand for the fifth wicket.

However, the hosts came back strongly by dismissing three Sri Lankan batsmen in quick succession for five runs. Trent Boult, who had an unproductive opening session, bounced back to grab two wickets before Kane Williamson’s direct hit dismissed Rangana Herath (four).

Mathews and Dushmantha Chameera will resume their innings on their respective scores of 63 and 0.

New Zealand are leading the two-match series 1-0 after defeating Sri Lanka by 122 runs in Dunedin. (ANI)