New Zealand in control at Napier


Napier, April 5:

A century from Nathan Astle and weighty contributions from Brendon McCullum and James Franklin steered New Zealand into a commanding position in the first Test against Sri Lanka.

While Astle notched up his 10th Test hundred McCullum fell an agonising one run short of his second Test ton before Franklin’s maiden Test 50 took New Zealand to 561 all out.

In reply Sri Lanka were looking comfortable on 48 for no loss after 12 overs, with Marvan Atapattu unbeaten on 14 and Sanath Jayasuriya 31 not out.

Resuming on 267/3, with Hamish Marshall on 133 and Astle on 37, the Black Caps moved to 312 before Sri Lanka made a breakthrough with Marshall and Lou Vincent dismissed in quick succession.

Lasith Malinga (4-130) got the wicket of Marshall, who scored a career-high 160, while Vincent was out for a duck.

Astle hit 114 before being caught by Jayasuriya while McCullum was lbw on 99 as the pair shared a 129-run stand.

Kyle Mills then faced just three balls before becoming Malinga’s fourth victim.

Franklin, who was dropped just after making his 50, and Paul Wiseman added 43 runs for the ninth wicket before Wiseman was out for 27 as Rangana Herath claimed his first wicket.