NZ dismiss openers, but Sri Lanka counter-attack

HAMILTON: Sri Lanka reached 108-2 at lunch on the first day of the second test against New Zealand having fought back after Tim Southee removed both their openers on a green Seddon Park pitch in Hamilton.

Southee managed to get rid of both Dimuth Karunaratne (12) and Kusal Mendis (31) to reduce the visitors to 44-2 before Dinesh Chandimal (41 not out) attacked the fuller length bowled by New Zealand. Udara Jayasundera was 23 not out at the break.

The hosts had probably been hoping for more wickets after captain Brendon McCullum won the toss and wasted little time in giving his four-pronged pace attack first opportunity on the pitch.

Mendis rode his luck after he was dropped by Ross Taylor in the second over, but was prepared to chance his arm against the bowling with inside, outside and leading edges flying just wide of desperate fielders.

He was not only dropped by Taylor, but a Doug Bracewell delivery hit the top of his off stump yet failed to dislodge the bails when he was on 20.

The 20-year-old then got five runs when an attempted run out by McCullum just missed the stumps, with Mendis well short of his ground despite a dive, and went flying to the boundary.

The stubborn Dimuth Karunaratne had again held up his end before he chased a wider delivery from Southee and got an inside edge to wicketkeeper BJ Watling.

Watling then took his second catch when Southee produced another perfect outswinger that Mendis had to play, but only succeeded in nicking the ball behind.

Chandimal, who scored half centuries in both innings in the first test in Dunedin, continued the positive approach set by Mendis and was scoring at more than a run a ball as he and Jayasundera put on an unbroken 64-run partnership.