Sri Lanka struck twice late in the second session to peg New Zealand back after the openers had provided a steady start. The hosts went to Tea at 70 for 2 after bundling out Sri Lanka on 355 earlier on Day 2 of the first Test at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch, on Friday.
Tom Latham and Devon Conway made a steady start, aided by the Sri Lankan pacers, who didn't operate in probing channels as much as they would've liked, letting go of the advantage with the new ball. The duo got their share of loose deliveries to put away without having to take too many risks.
There were the odd deliveries that beat the bat, and a couple of leg before appeals, but none enough to trouble the batters. The scoring rate dropped considerably following the drinks break.
Asitha Fernando, who was more tidy with his lines, eventually got Sri Lanka their first breakthrough of the day when he pinged Devon Conway on his pads, trapping him legbefore for 30. One dismissal led to another as Kane Williamson played an uppish drive to a half volley off Lahiru Kumara to be caught at short cover for 1.
Earlier in the day, Tim Southee and Matt Henry bagged two wickets apiece to wrap up Sri Lanka's innings in the morning session itself, allowing the visitors to add only 50 runs to their overnight score.
Asitha Fernando and Kumara threw their bats around a bit, and even picked three boundaries. But it was only a matter of time before the innings had to fold up. The former was undone by a full deliver from Southee and was trapped legbefore, but not before adding 19 runs for the last wicket.
The overnight batters - Dhananjaya de Silva and Kasun Rajitha got going, stroking their first deliveries of the day for a boundary each in the first over itself. However, Dhananjaya's stay was cut short by Southee in the next over on 46. His attempted cut took the outside edge to the 'keeper.
Henry then got into the act, returning four wickets in the innings. In the second over after the new ball was taken, Rajitha got a leading edge to Kane Williamson at extra cover, ending his handy innings on 22. Prabath Jayasuriya was dismissed poking at a delivery outside off to the 'keeper.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 355 (Kusal Mendis 87, Dimuth Karunaratne 50; Tim Southee 5-64, Matt Henry 4-80) lead New Zealand 70/2 (Tom Latham 35*) by 285 runs