Blacks Caps stumble their way to 221 all out

BEN STANLEY
Last updated 19:40 17/11/2012
Ross Taylor STD
Reuters
OUT: Ross Taylor loses his wicket early.

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Rangana Herath bagged his 11th five-wicket haul in test cricket as Sri Lanka bowled out New Zealand for an uninspired 221 in its first innings of the opening test.

But New Zealand seamer Tim Southee struck back early in dismissing debutant opener Dimuth Karunaratne for a duck as the hosts were 9-1 at close of play.

Tharanga Paranavitana was yet to score batting with nightwatchman Suran Randiv, who is on 3.

Brendon McCullum top scored for the Kiwis with 68 runs and shared a promising 90-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Daniel Flynn (53) after the tourists were reduced to 40-3.

However, Herath took three quick wickets in the middle session to regain control. Herath returned best figures of 5-65.

Black Caps 155-6 at tea

The hard work of Brendon McCullum and Daniel Flynn has been undone, with the Black Caps left teetering at tea on day one of the first test against Sri Lanka in Galle last night.

New Zealand went to tea at 155 for 6 off 60.3 overs, with Flynn dismissed for 53 on the last ball of a measured, but ultimately fruitless session for the visitors. Wicket keeper Kruger van Wyk was stranded not out on 9 at the break. 

Earlier in the session, it had appeared that McCullum (68) and Flynn had laid the base for a Kiwi fightback after the top order failed in the morning dig.

McCullum was particularly impressive, with his 68 featuring an even balance of patience and assertion.

He combined with Flynn, who now holds the key to a competitive Kiwi first innings total, to put on 90 for the fourth wicket; a crucial partnership that helped the Black Caps rebound from a staggering start that saw them 40 for 3 early on.

The steel was there from McCullum and Flynn, though the Kiwi position would have been a  lot stronger had spinner Rangana Herath, the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers on a turning pitch, not had Flynn caught by Prasanna Jayawardene, and Franklin (30) trapped leg-before, right before tea.

Martin Guptill (11), Kane Williamson (0) and skipper Ross Taylor (9) all failed to make an impression at the crease in the morning session.

But despite some early hesitancy, the partnership between McCullum and Flynn began to bear fruit against a mixed-bag Sri Lankan bowling line-up.

McCullum was the more impressive of the two, adjusting his quicker starter when Taylor nicked the ball onto his stumps off Nuwan Kulasekara at 40 to a more measured approach at the crease.

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Two runs would come off his next 29 deliveries faced, before he removed the shackles with a beautiful cut off Herath, who had 3 for 40 off his 19.3 overs at the break, which would also bring up 4000 test runs for the former test keeper.

Flynn, who would face 152 balls in his knock, proved an able lieutenant for McCullum, patient enough to see off his first few overs at the crease, but prepared to take care of bad balls when they came his way.

An exquisite drive punched through the covers off a wide delivery by Kulasekara was particularly eye-catching.

After losing the toss and being sent in to bowl, the Sri Lankans would have been delighted by their early inroads into New Zealand's top order, but were then frustrated by the efforts of McCullum and Flynn.

Flynn began the first afternoon session with a flourish, easing Randiv away for fours off successive deliveries in the first over after the break.

His batting partner got in on the act in Pandiv's next over, launching the off-spinner over the square leg boundary for six.

McCullum would collect his 24th test fifty off 99 balls, but survived a good shout by Eranga not long after, but was lucky that the ball clipping his pads high, and slightly missing his off-stump when he was on 57.

McCullum then decided to take the game to the Sri Lankans, knocking a towering six off Herath before being completely out-done by the off-spinner the next ball; bowling around his legs.

Franklin was lucky to survive a shout on his first ball, taken on the pads, before he and Flynn, who brought up his fifth test fifty, put the brakes on completely.

Their 12 run partnership came off 13 overs, before Franklin left, with his stubborn 3 runs coming off 43 balls.

Black Caps 80-3 at lunch

For the first time in their Sri Lankan tour, New Zealand cricketers might actually be hoping for rain.

The Black Caps were 80 for 3 at lunch on the first day of the first test against Sri Lanka in Galle tonight, with Brendon McCullum and Daniel Flynn rebuilding after a stumbling start by the top order.

The first three Kiwi wickets fell for only 40 runs, with Martin Guptill (11), Kane Williamson (0) and skipper Ross Taylor (9) all failing to make an impression at the crease.

But despite some early hesitancy, the 40-run partnership between McCullum (38) and Flynn (21) began to bear fruit against a Sri Lankan bowling line-up that, once challenged, didn't look like really troubling the pair.

McCullum was the more impressive of the two, adjusting his quicker starter when Taylor nicked the ball onto his stumps off Nuwan Kulasekara at 40 to a more measured approach at the crease.

Two runs would come off his next 29 deliveries face, before he removed the shackles with a beautiful drive off spinner Rangana Herath which would also bring up 4000 test runs for the former test keeper.

Flynn proved an able lieutenant for McCullum, patient enough to see off his first few overs at the crease, but prepared to take care of bad balls when they came his way.

An exquisite drive punched through the covers off a wide delivery by Kulasekara was particularly eye-catching.

Despite removing Taylor, Kulasekara didn't look like troubling McCullum and Flynn at the crease, unlike fellow seamer Shaminda Eranga, who took the first two Kiwi scalps.

Guptill never looked comfortable before falling nicking an Eranga ball outside off to Angelo Mathews at second slip.

Williamson, coming in a first drop again, left two balls later for a duck; undone by a shorter ball by Eranga, which the young Northern Districts batsman poked to Tharanga Paranavitana at first slip.

-AP

- Fairfax Media

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