On the second day of the first test, 22 runs behind the first innings overall, New Zealand was able to restrict Sri Lanka to 227/7 with a first five-wicket move from Ajaz Patel.
Patel’s scalp included the Sri Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, the Centurions Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews, and Lahiru Thirimanne and Dhananjaya de Silva. Sri Lanka ended the day with Suranga Lakmal (28 *), her hero from the first innings, and Niroshan Dickwella (39 *) at the crease.
The end of an enthralling day's play at Galle.— ICC (@ICC) August 15, 2019
Sri Lanka finish the day on 227/7, trailing New Zealand by 22 runs. Ajaz Patel has led the way with the ball, taking 5/76. #SLvNZ LIVE ⬇️ https://t.co/tk1bG2fLyn pic.twitter.com/LSNEepzs3g
Earlier in the day, Lakmal claimed four fast scalps to displace New Zealand for 249. Ross Taylor was unable to increase his overnight stay from 86 *, and fell off Lakmal from the first delivery he faced in the morning. His partner Mitchell Santner struggled with 41 balls before being jammed in Lakmal’s 73rd game.
The rest of the survey setup was within the next 10 overs as Lakmal looked sharp through the second morning. His delivery to Taylor was the best; The rebound hit Taylor in surprise when he failed to execute his signature shot.
The dismissal of right-wingers was the beginning of the dissolution of New Zealand, as the visitors slipped from 205/5 to 249.
The innings in Sri Lanka started with a cautious start in which Tim Southee and Trent Boult could quickly and accurately bowl on a surface that did not have much to offer. Trying to break his shackles, Thiirimane picked up Patel but missed completely and was taken by surprise by BJ Watling.
Caught and Boult 😆 pic.twitter.com/N6Pbjs4UzI— ICC (@ICC) August 15, 2019
Karunaratne added 39 runs with Mendis, but never looked good in his innings. He was eventually fired by Patel for 39 after a tiring 73 deliveries. The partnership between Mendis and Mathews was Sri Lanka’s best time with the bat: they added 77 runs for the third wicket and looked at the kink.
However, after the duo’s release, the Sri Lankan middle order fought New Zealand’s disciplined attack. Kusal Perera and de Silva were dismissed for single-digit scores, and William Somerville sent Danajaya back for a duck. New Zealand wanted to break Sri Lanka before Dickwella and Lakmal resisted.