Eassyway – Williamson gone as Sri Lanka put pressure on New Zealand

Sri Lanka claimed the prized wicket of Kane Williamson to leave New Zealand on 70-2 in reply to the tourists’ 355 at tea on day two of the first Test in Christchurch on Friday.

In a must-win Test for Sri Lanka to keep their hopes of making the World Test Championship final alive, their bowlers were guilty of too many wayward deliveries early in the New Zealand innings.

But the wickets of Devon Conway and then New Zealand talisman Williamson in quick succession put the hosts back under pressure.

At tea, Tom Latham was on 35 from 93 deliveries having survived an lbw appeal at the start of his innings when the review showed the ball had pitched just millimetres outside the leg-stump.

Conway was first to fall, trapped lbw by Asitha Fernando for 30 to have New Zealand 67-1 in their reply.

Then on the last ball before tea, Williamson uncharacteristically went for a big cover drive and was caught by Dimuth Karunaratne off Lahiru Kumara for one.

It was the perfect end to the session for Sri Lanka.

After 21 overs they turned to spin with Dhananjaya de Silva brought into the attack.

But it was the return of new-ball bowler Fernando that brought about the breakthrough eight overs later.

Fernando, who had been guilty of straying too often down the leg-side, pitched a full-length delivery which rapped Conway on the pads and the New Zealand opener was gone.

Sri Lanka’s tail frustrated New Zealand at the start of the day when the last four wickets added 50 runs.

Overnight pair De Silva and Kasun Rajitha clipped 11 off the opening over of the morning before skipper Tim Southee entered the attack and had De Silva caught behind for 46.

When the new ball became due, Matt Henry had Rajitha caught at mid-off for 22 and New Zealand sensed the end was near.

Prabath Jayasuriya and Lahiru Kumara lasted 38 deliveries for the ninth wicket while only adding five runs.

Henry eventually had Jayasuriya caught behind for 13, leaving Kumara (13 not out) and Fernando (10) to add a further 19 runs off 26 deliveries for the final wicket.

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