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New Zealand in control after 15-wicket day

Sri Lanka stutters to 78/5 after shooting out the hosts for 221

New Zealand in control after 15-wicket day - Cricket News
James Neesham celebrates.
Bowlers dictated terms in Wellington as 15 wickets tumbled for a total of 299 runs on Saturday (December 3). It was the first day of the second and final Test between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, and Sri Lanka ended the day at 78 for 5 in reply to New Zealand’s 221.
 
It was the bowlers who enjoyed the fruits of the wicket on the day but it was Kumar Sangakkara’s day in the sun as he became just the fifth player to go past 12,000 career runs. At stumps, Sangakkara was unbeaten on 33.
 
With conditions looking good for bowling, Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lankan skipper, put New Zealand into bat but Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal, the new ball bowlers, wasted the shine by bowling it short and wide. Still, they managed to removed Tom Latham and Hamish Rutherford, the New Zealand openers.

 

The Sri Lankan seamers soon enough figured that the trick was the pitch the ball up and they were rewarded. New Zealand reached 141 for 2 before the seamers ran riot to fell the last eight wickets for 80 runs.
 
Brendon McCullum's return to the scene of his greatest triumph, the 302 against India last February, only lasted two deliveries. He had been feted on his return to Wellington and was presented with the keys to the city during a lunch-break ceremony. But, this time, there was to be no marathon session in the middle, nor a replay of the rollicking 195 he blasted in a shade over two hours in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Christchurch. He played two deliveries and returned to the shed after chopping Suranga Lakmal on to his stumps.
 
Kane Williamson, with 69, and Ross Taylor, who made 35, propped up New Zealand’s innings with a 79-run stand for the third wicket.
 
Pradeep was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers with 4 for 63, while Lakmal took 3 for 71.
 
The last three New Zealand wickets and top five Sri Lankan batsmen were dismissed after tea.
 
Sangakkara, however, proved an unshakeable force at the other end, knocking off the five runs he required to reach 12,000 and then cruising through to stumps. Sangakkara, 37, averages more than 58.00 and has hit 37 centuries in his 130 Tests with a highest of 319, scored against Bangladesh last year.

To follow live updates of the second Test test between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in Wellington, click here

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