Ross Taylor finished his 19th Test One hundred, but it was Spinner Akila Dananjaya who won the honor on a rainy opening day of the first test between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Galle.
Dananjaya made his fourth test to rip out the heart of the New Zealand eyelash. At stumps, the visitors were 203/5, with Taylor still fighting, unbeaten on 86.
Given that Galle had favored Spinner, Sri Lanka attacked New Zealand with three spinners, and Dananjaya was the first involved in the attack.
He took a big turn and prevailed early, especially after switching from two overs to his first spell, but New Zealand survived him early in one way or another and kept him in check for his first nine overs.
As in the morning session, the meeting in New Zealand began after lunch with a constant note, as Taylor and Henry Nicholls got into a good rhythm on a 100-run stand on the fourth wicket.
Since Dananjaya proved to be unplayable, both batsmen took advantage of their chances against the inexperienced Lasith Embuldeniya to complete his third test, step down, hop over the field and knock him out.
The fifty of their partnerships were closed in the 46th year, and next year Sri Lanka missed the opportunity to end the burgeoning union. After Nicholls knocked on Dhananjaya de Silva to the right of the cover, Taylor hesitated to answer the call of his partner. At the end of the striker he was still miles away from the fold, but an idiosyncratic throw of field captain Dimuth Karunratne helped him not insignificant. Taylor was 37 years old at the time.
Both batsmen then engaged in the collection of ones and twos. A jump from the hip to the deep, square leg before Lahiru Kumara gave Taylor his 31st Test, fifty. A foursome from Nicholls in front of Dananjaya brought the 100 out of the partnership, but the bowler came straight back to the next ball when Nicholls came to sweep but went off and got stuck in front of the middle.
On his next overtaking maneuver, Dananjaya BJ Watling was caught in a trap that turned in his papers and refused to get up. As in the morning, New Zealand lost on the final day again a wicket.
The recovery was delayed as blankets wrapped over the surface in anticipation of the rain. After about 20 minutes break, the players were back on the field. Although the ground was shrouded in sunshine, the ground personnel were lurking at the border, expecting the elements to intervene.
Taylor and Santner saw the few overlaps that took place before the cover was restored again as a precautionary measure even as darkness engulfed Galle. Ten minutes later, it was pelting down, and that was it.