New Zealand's spinner Ajaz Patel became the first Kiwi player to get five wickets at Galle as the tourists restricted Sri Lanka to 227 for seven on day 2 of the first Test match on Thursday. After New Zealand were all out for 249, the Sri Lankan's got off to a good start as they were 143 for 2, with Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis laying the foundation for a score above 300.
However, some good bowling coupled with a lapse in concentration and rash shots saw the Lankans collapse, as they lost five wickets for only 18 runs. From 143 for 2, the hosts slumped to 161 for seven, before Niroshan Dickwella and Suranga Lakmal took the score above 200. At the end of stumps, Sri Lanka still trail New Zealand by 22 runs.
The star of the day was Patel, who kept things tight, bowling an unerring length on a track that was helping the spinners.
He flighted the ball up to Mendis, which paid rich dividends as the batter was ultimately out off a delivery which he did not offer much footwork.'The slide continued in the last session as well with Kusal Perera and Dhananjaya de Silva not contributing much. Mathews was dismissed after getting his fifty, and he was Patel's fifth wicket.
"I think with surfaces like that offer you something, you've got to stay patient and ask good questions of the batsman," Patel told reporters.
"We know Sri Lankans are good players of spin, so you've got to respect that and make sure you put balls in good areas for long period. I think you've got to keep hanging in and play the long game. Yes, there's turn, but it's slow turn."
Lakmal, who claimed four wickets in the first innings,gave good support to Dickwella as Sri Lanka made a strong comeback. The former played some cheeky shots and had a point to prove after being ignored for the World Cup.
Earlier, New Zealand, resuming on 203 for 5, lost their last five wickets for only 46 runs to be folded up for 249. Lakmal got four wickets, and Akila Dananjaya finished with five scalps, with all of his wickets coming on Day 1.
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