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Cricket news - Live Blog - Day 1: Sri Lanka vs New Zealand, 1st Test, Galle

Karunaratne and Williamson will look for a winning start in the World Test championship

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Taylor in fine fettle

After the break, Taylor cracked slog sweeps and the occasional loft. The experienced batsman has taken New Zealand past the three-figure mark. Meanwhile, Dananjaya isn't getting that fizz he was generating in the first session. Maybe a tad tired?

Action, drama!!

Action and drama in the final fifteen minutes of the session!! At 63 for no loss after 26 overs, the openers seemed to have taken New Zealand to safer waters. Just that in the nick of time, with a few minutes to go for the break, Dananjaya dismissed Latham. The southpaw got into two minds while playing Dananjaya and edged one behind. Kane Williamson, the skipper, didn't last long as he nudged one straight to the fielder at short midwicket in the same over. To make matters worse, Raval too succumbed to Dananjaya's googly and nicked one to the slip fielder.

It is going to be an uphill task for two new batsmen to get in after the break with the ball turning and gripping.

Sri Lanka in search of wickets

At the drinks break, New Zealand have progressed to 21 for no loss. Dananjaya was introduced into the attack and found some turn to beat the bat of Raval, but the New Zealand camp would be happy with their progress so far. On the other hand, Sri Lanka haven't let the visitors to get off to a brisk start, and a wicket could change the script.

Cautious New Zealand

Kumara and Lakmal have been tidy so far - a hint of nip and a tad bit of swing. Maybe the duo could have made Latham and Raval at more deliveries. Meanwhile, Raval cracked the only boundary of the innings so far - a cut stroke off Kumara.

Toss

New Zealand have won the crucial toss and opted to bat. At Galle, where, it usually helps spinners later on in the game, batting first would be preferred option. As expected they have gone in with three spinners - Ajaz, Somerville and Santner.

Pitch report

Due to rain, there could be a hint of moisture and the ball may nip around a touch early doors. And as scientists say moisture also indirectly helps swing. However, one expects the Galle track to mostly help spinners.

"A very good looking pitch, it's different to normal Galle pitches, it's hard and will come nicely onto the bat. You'll get some swing with the new ball, spinners will come into play from Day 3 onwards. Win the toss and bat first," opines Russel Arnold, in his pitch report

Rain relents

Unfortunately, there was rain this morning but it seems to have relented and the covers were taken off roughly 30 minutes back. The forecast is for scattered showers.

Build up:

Sport brings different cultures closer together and also promotes peace, acting as a catalyst for harmony. Cricket is one of those sports that has played a key role in understanding different cultures.

New Zealand and Sri Lanka cricket teams. Two island nations, but 10,925 kilometers apart and culturally different. By now, the New Zealand cricket team has visited Sri Lanka seven times. The last one being in 2012-13 when the series was drawn 1-1.

Over the years, a few bilateral series have been marred by controversies. The tour of 1987 was cancelled midway by civil disturbances - a bomb exploded (Pettah bus station) near the New Zealand team's hotel. It is scary to imagine that Martin Crowe, one of the members of the side, once recalled that on the fifth day of the first Test, the visitors had taken a different route to drop Phil Horne, the opener, at the physio's table. And the bomb had exploded via the route through which they used to normally take to commute. Even in 1992-93, the tour was marred by an explosion.

Leaving aside civil disturbances, the two sides have been part of some keenly-contested games. However, New Zealand have won a mere four Tests in Sri Lanka and not won a Test rubber in the island nation since 1984!

The Kane Williamson-led New Zealand side, which scripted a famous series win in the UAE last year, would look to change New Zealand's dismal record in Sri Lanka. Moreover, after the heartbreaking World Cup final, New Zealand also have the added incentive of starting their World Test Championship on a perfect note.

Sri Lanka, too, would look to begin their World Test Championship journey on a winning note in Galle. The Karunaratne-led unit also would take confidence from their historic series victory in South Africa. However, the last time Sri Lanka played at home, they slipped to a 3-0 loss to England on turning wickets.

Toss and teams in a while...

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