Lankans make solid start
HAMILTON, New Zealand (AP):
Angelo Mathews made an unbeaten half-century and shared a record 136-run fifth-wicket stand with Milinda Siriwardana to help Sri Lanka to 264 for seven yesterday before rain ended the first day of the second cricket Test against New Zealand.
Only two run outs and a stumble when the partnership between Mathews (63 not out) and Siriwardana (62) was broken detracting from Sri Lanka's best batting effort of the series, which overturned expectations that the team that bowled first would win the day.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum won the toss and asked Sri Lanka to bat on a lush green pitch at Seddon Park, expecting his bowlers to dominate in conditions which supported both seam and swing.
Apart from Mathews, who maintains a Test average in excess of 50, and Siriwardana, who reached his second Test half-century, Kusal Mendis made 31 and Dinesh Chandimal 47 as Sri Lanka kept up a lively run rate of four per over throughout the day.
The partnership between Mathews and Siriwardana came in only 131 minutes and eclipsed the previous best fifth-wicket partnership for Sri Lanka against New Zealand. Trent Boult made the breakthrough when he produced an edge from Siriwardana, which Ross Taylor juggled before securing at first slip.