BLACKCAPS v Sri Lanka, first Test, Galle

The BLACKCAPS toiled hard, but couldn't make early enough in roads in the fourth innings. SLC

Taylor the key man on day two

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IN SHORT
A truly absorbing opening day which was dominated by spin and Ross Taylor (86*), before the weather had the final say after 68 overs on day one in Galle.

Scorecard

In that time the BLACKCAPS managed to get themselves into strong positions at 64-0 and 171-3, only for mystery spinner Akila Dananjaya (5-57) to spin Sri Lanka back into the contest and reduce the visitors to 203-5.

Henry Nicholls (42) played his part through the middle as he and Taylor put on 100 runs in decent time before he became Dananjaya's fourth victim.

The diminutive right-armer took advantage of the early spin on offer and opened proceedings in the final session where only five overs were possible before the rain set in and brought an early stumps.

AS IT HAPPENED...

The BLACKCAPS toiled hard, but couldn't make early enough in roads in the fourth innings. SLC

Patel to the party in Galle

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Day Two In Short
Ajaz Patel proved the BLACKCAPS trump card on day two as he briefly spun the visitors into the box seat with his second Test five-wicket bag.

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The home side were going nicely at 142-2 with tea looming when Patel, who had already dismissed both openers either side of lunch, claimed the crucial wicket of Kusal Mendis for 53.

After the break he continued on his way to five wickets and removed fellow dangerman Angelo Mathews the ball after his half-century.

Earlier Sri Lankan seamer Suranga Lakmal helped clean up the BLACKCAPS tail as the visitors posted a middling first innings total of 249.

Ross Taylor could not add to his overnight score of 86 and it was left to Tim Southee and Trent Boult to boost up the score ... and the entertainment.

The BLACKCAPS toiled hard, but couldn't make early enough in roads in the fourth innings. SLC

Watling the Wall sends Test down to wire

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Day Three In Short
The to and fro battle continued in front of the Galle Fort on Friday and both teams will fancy their chances heading into the weekend

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As it Happened

The BLACKCAPS toiled hard, but couldn't make early enough in roads in the fourth innings. SLC

A day for the batsmen

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In Short
After three days of leather getting the better of willow, day four finally saw the batsmen have their time in the sun.

After a 50 minute delayed start due to weather, BJ Watling (77) and Will Somerville (40* - his highest First-Class score) denied Sri Lanka most of the morning to help set a competitive target of 268 for victory.

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That total was made to look better by the history of chasing sides struggling in the fourth innings at Galle.

However, that myth was almost all but busted by Sri Lankan openers Dimuth Karunaratne (72*) Lahiru Thirimanne (57*) who batted out the final two sessions to leave just another 135 runs to win the match.

The BLACKCAPS hurled down 50 overs and while they beat the bat several times and created a couple of chances, the visitors are in the box seat at 133-0 heading into the final day.

The BLACKCAPS toiled hard, but couldn't make early enough in roads in the fourth innings. SLC

Karunaratne century leads Sri Lanka to victory

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Dimuth Karunaratne was the hero as Sri Lanka secured a memorable victory over the BLACKCAPS in front of a full crowd in Galle on Sunday.

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Needing a further 135 runs to win on the final day, the Sri Lankan captain completed his ninth Test century and arguably his most important as the hosts got home by six wickets.

The day was not without its drama as Will Somerville and Ajaz Patel picked up wickets in back to back overs, before Tim Southee dismissed Karunaratne for 122 late in the first session.

However, it wasn’t meant to be as Sri Lanka took the extra half hour available before lunch to complete a tense victory and go one-nil up in the series.

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