Fri, Dec 08, 2006 - Page 21 News List

Kiwis in control in first Test against Sri Lanka


New Zealand comfortably controlled the opening day of the first cricket Test against Sri Lanka in Christchurch yesterday after being gifted first use of the ball on a bowler's wicket.

At stumps they were 85 for two after dismissing Sri Lanka for 154.

After opener Jamie How fell for a duck, the recalled New Zealand batsmen Craig Cumming and Mathew Sinclair went to work as the pitch eased in the afternoon sun.

Cumming, who was caught in the slips early from a Lasith Malinga no ball, recovered to be not out 37 at stumps, while Sinclair fell to Chaminda Vass shortly before the close for 36.

But while there was an air of confidence in the New Zealand camp, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene was left to rue his decision to bat first on a green wicket with overcast morning skies when he won the toss.

The groundsman warned it was a seamer's pitch to begin with and would flatten as the match progressed, but Jayawardene wanted only for his champion spinner Muttiah Muralitharan to bowl last.

The match was only 17 balls old when New Zealand strike bowler Shane Bond claimed the wicket of Sanath Jayasuriya on his way to figures of three for 43.

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