New Zealand bat in Galle after winning toss

New Zealand bat in Galle after winning toss”

But New Zealand lost two quick wickets close to the tea break. Morgan's team was crowned winners on the basis of having hit more boundaries in the match - 24 to New Zealand's 16. New Zealand, meanwhile, could field three frontline spinners, with Todd Astle missing out.

46 - Tim Southee has picked up 46 wickets in only eight Test matches against Sri Lanka.

But the hosts will be no pushover, as they showed by winning their recent 2-0 series in South Africa - becoming the first Asian nation to do so. "When we played against England, we kept attacking them too much with our bowlers, and we couldn't stop the runs", Karunaratne was quoted by ESPNCricinfo ahead of the first Test against New Zealand. Sri Lanka's spin-bowling future in Tests still has heavy question marks around it. The two-year-long Championship kickstarted with the Ashes series and the upcoming between New Zealand and Sri Lanka and India, and West Indies will also fall under the championship.

Meanwhile, the introduction of the ICC World Test Championship will give meaning to the bilateral series apart from only hampering the rankings. Following that series, New Zealand travel to Australia for three Tests and then return home to host India.

Since December 2017, Williamson's team has won a record five successive Test series but a series win on Sri Lanka soil had eluded the Kiwis.

Adding to their frustration was the wash out in Katunayake, a suburb of Negombo City, where just 65.5 overs of play were possible against the Sri Lanka Board President's XI.

Venue: Galle International Stadium, Galle. Visiting spinners have also had a fair bit of success in Sri Lanka recently, and Patel and co. will have studied closely.

This will be Sri Lanka's first Test at home since Rangana Herath's retirement.

The New Zealand skipper needs 32 more runs to become the 3rd player to aggregate 1000 runs in Sri Lanka-New Zealand Test matches.

Sri Lanka are set to welcome back Dinesh Chandimal, dropped for the series in South Africa because of poor form, and Angelo Mathews, who missed the South Africa tour because of an injury. He has played 53 Tests, from which he averages 41.86 with 11 centuries.

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Vishwa Fernando.

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