Twitter Reactions: Tim Southee’s all-round show and Suranga Lakmal highlight the 14-wicket day in Chrischurch
Sri Lanka are only 90 runs behind in the first innings.
Updated - Dec 26, 2018 12:10 pm
The Boxing Day Test began in Christchurch with a ray of hope for Sri Lanka to win an elusive away Test series. They started off well by winning the toss on a green pitch and Suranga Lakmal made the most of the conditions. He ran through the top three of the hosts and rocked them in the first hour of the day.
To start with, the visitors made a couple of changes to their line-up as they brought in Dushmantha Chameera and Roshen Silva at the expense of Dhananjaya de Silva and Kasun Rajitha. After winning the toss, it took Sri Lanka half an hour to gauge the conditions after which Lakmal was all over them. He pitched the new cherry in the right areas and reaped rich rewards as the Kiwis were reduced to 36/4 and then 57/5 in the first session.
Colin de Grandhomme’s poor run with the bat in Test cricket continued as he played an awful shot to leave his team reeling at 64/6. But then came a whirlwind innings from Tim Southee as it took the sting out of Sri Lanka’s bowling attack. He smashed 65 runs off 68 balls with six fours and three maximums which propelled New Zealand past 150. BJ Watling also played well to score 46 runs as the home side got bowled for 178 runs in 50 overs.
Lakmal ended with magical figures of 5/54 while Lahiru Kumara returned with three wickets thanks to his express pace which kept the batsmen on the tenterhooks.
Southee strikes with the new ball
In response to New Zealand’s first innings score, Sri Lanka also didn’t get off to an auspicious start. Even their top three crumbled to leave the team at 21/3 in the first ten overs thanks to Tim Southee. He wreaked havoc with some exceptional swing bowling only for the middle-order to get exposed. Kusal Mendis, the second innings centurion of the previous match, was also sent back for 15 by De Grandhomme.
Eventually, it was the experienced Angelo Mathews who held the fort and stayed unbeaten on 27 while Roshen Silva also scored 15 as Sri Lanka finished the day on 88/4 only 90 runs behind New Zealand’s total. The first session of the second day will be extremely crucial now as the visitors now have a chance to take a lead even as the pitch will get easier to bat on in the second innings.
Here’s how Twitter reacted during the action-packed day:
So, that Suranga Lakmal opening spell went for 16 overs. SIXTEEN! @gaurav_sundar tells me that’s the longest equal opening spell by a seamer since 2001 (we don’t have ball-by-ball data before that).
Lakmal figures: 16-4-42-4#NZvSL
— Andrew Fidel Fernando (@afidelf) December 26, 2018
❌ Jeet Raval
❌ Tom Latham
❌ Kane Williamson
❌ Henry Nicholls
❌ Neil Wagner
Second five wicket haul in Tests for Suranga Lakmal – both have come in Boxing Day contests.
— Cricbuzz (@cricbuzz) December 26, 2018
Southee doing Southee things. #NZvSL
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) December 26, 2018
— Rick Eyre on cricket (@rickeyrecricket) December 26, 2018
Three sixes and three wickets for Tim Southee on the first day of the Christchurch Test.
— Aju John (@islandexpress) December 26, 2018
Jimmy Anderson is my favourite cricketer.
But if Tim Southee was English, he would be regarded just as highly.
— Eamon Lahiri (@TheSimianFreud) December 26, 2018
Tim Southee needs two more wkts today to become the second player to score 50+ runs & take 5+ wkts in the first day of a Test after Jimmy Sinclair (6/26 & 59* SA v Eng Cape Town 1899). #NZvSL
— Deepu Narayanan (@deeputalks) December 26, 2018
— 21st Century Cricket (@21CenturyCric) December 26, 2018
Tim Southee! What a day he is having. #NZvSL
— Nikhil Patni (@nikhilpatni) December 26, 2018
You cannot imagine someone more successful than Tim Southee on a sinlge day with bat and ball both… He made the highest run for the Kiwis and now he is creating havoc with ball claiming all there Sri Lankan wickets.@cricketwallah @ESPNcricinfo #NZvSL #cricketaustralia
— M I R Z A (@MirzaABBaig) December 26, 2018
Tim Southee is not a No. 8 guy, he's an underrated all-rounder… Always delivers with the bat too but his bowling overshadows his Batting. #NZvSL
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) December 26, 2018
— Kumara swamy_ks (@kumaraswamy_ks7) December 26, 2018