Twitter Reactions: Tim Southee's all-round show and Suranga Lakmal highlight the 14-wicket day in Chrischurch

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.

Tim Southee
Tim Southee. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

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:

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