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​Ton-up Guptill puts New Zealand in command

Opener’s 156 guides home side to 409 for 8 on the opening day of the first Test against Sri Lanka

​Ton-up Guptill puts New Zealand in command - Cricket News
Martin Guptill scored 156 before he fell just before stumps.
Martin Guptill struck his third century to guide New Zealand to a strong position on the opening day of the first Test against Sri Lanka on Thursday (December 10). 

On a green Dunedin pitch, New Zealand responded to losing the toss by scoring 409 for 8. Guptill contributed 156 before he fell just before stumps, Kane Williamson made 88 and Brendon McCullum 75 as New Zealand piled on the runs.

New Zealand was 229 for 2 at tea before Sri Lanka fought back in the final session when it took six wickets for 180 runs. 

There were only seven maiden overs bowled and New Zealand hit 57 fours, of which Guptill contributed 21. His third century came 41 innings and four years after he last posted three figures, against Zimbabwe, and was dismissed 33 runs short of his highest score, 189 against Bangladesh in 2010. 

Guptill was out of the New Zealand Test team for two years, but his exceptional performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 earlier this year led to his recall. 

Guptill took a careful look at the first eight balls from Sri Lanka before getting off the mark with an off-drive to the boundary. In an innings filled with elegant shots, he used the same front foot stroke to bring up his 100 when he drove Suranga Lakmal to the boundary. 

He shared a 173-run partnership with Williamson, a New Zealand record for the second wicket against Sri Lanka, then added 89 with McCullum. 

He was eventually dismissed six overs before stumps when Mathews swung the ball away from Guptill, who feathered a catch to Dinesh Chandimal, the wicketkeeper. 
Williamson fell on the last ball before tea, lashing out at a delivery from Nuwan Pradeep to be caught in slips by Dimuth Karunaratne reaching high above his head. He left the ground requiring only eight more runs to become the fifth player to reach 1000 runs this calendar year. 

McCullum was at his belligerent best as he raced from 35 to 50 with a six, two fours and a single in successive deliveries from Dushmantha Chameera. He reached 75 in 57 balls and hit 13 fours and a six before Mathews turned to Milinda Siriwardana, his seventh bowler for the day. 

With his third delivery in his third Test, Siriwardana bowled full on the leg side and McCullum sent a top edge to Kithuruwan Vithanage at deep square leg. 

For Sri Lanka, Lakmal took 2 for 69 while Pradeep and Chameera both finished with 2 for 101.

Please click here to review the match in full in the ICC Match Centre.

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