New Zealand Dominate Sri Lanka on Rain-Interrupted Day 1
NZ vs SL: Conway gave a solid start to the Kiwis
In a keenly awaited Test match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Wellington, the hosts finished the opening day's play at 155/2 after rain disrupted the opening session.
Having won the toss, Sri Lanka opted to field first on a very green pitch at the Basin Reserve. For the hosts, the return of Doug Bracewell to the Test team after a six-year hiatus was a momentous occasion, while Sri Lanka gave a debut to Nishan Madushka, who replaced Niroshan Dickwella in the playing XI.
How the battle panned out?
The visitors’ decision to bowl first failed to yield dividends as Kiwi openers, Devon Conway and Tom Latham, looked solid in the middle. Despite a slow start, Conway found his groove and played a flurry of attacking shots to score a well-deserved fifty. Latham also got off to a decent start but threw his wicket away for 21 off 75 balls while trying to pull Kasun Rajitha.
Last game’s hero, Kane Williamson, was watchful after his arrival at the crease, and the Lankan bowlers were unable to trouble him much either as the home team went into the Lunch break on Day 1 at 109/1.
Sri Lanka's bowlers struggled to make an impact on a wicket that offered little movement, however, post lunch Dhananjaya de Silva managed to dismiss Conway with a brilliant caught and bowled effort for 78 off 108 balls.
Following the dismissal of Conway, Henry Nicholls entered the fray and displayed a composed innings alongside his veteran teammate. The duo exercised utmost caution and precision in their shot-making, frustrating the Sri Lankan bowling unit with their resolute defense.
The bowlers toiled hard, but their efforts proved futile as they struggled to extract any significant turn or swing from the pitch. However, just as the game was gathering momentum and the fans' excitement was reaching its zenith, the onset of bad light caused a halt to the proceedings.
Despite a brief wait for conditions to improve, the umpires deemed it unsafe for play to continue, and hence, they called it a day. As a result, New Zealand ended the first day's play at a formidable score of 155/2, and the steady partnership between Nicholls and Williamson appears to be blossoming.
The Kiwis will be hoping to build on their impressive start when play resumes on the second day, while Sri Lanka will be looking to make a comeback and stage a fightback.
New Zealand (1st innings): 155/2 (48)
Devon Conway 78 (108), Kane Williamson 26* (76)
Dhananjaya de Silva 1-18, Kasun Rajitha 1-42