Mendis out for 53, Sri Lanka 143-3 vs. New Zealand at tea
GALLE, Sri Lanka (AP) — Kusal Mendis scored a half-century and stabilized his team's innings with a 77-run partnership with Angelo Mathews on Thursday as Sri Lanka reached 143-3 at tea against New Zealand on Day 2 of the first test.
Mendis made 53 — with seven boundaries and a six — and was out just before tea caught by Ross Taylor off spinner Ajaz Patel, who has taken all three wickets in Sri Lanka's first innings with 3-37.
Mathews is on 41, hitting six boundaries and a six.
Sri Lanka resumed after lunch at 34-1 with Mendis and captain Dimuth Karunaratne at the crease. Karunaratne (39) was out with the total on 66, trapped lbw by Patel, bringing Mendis and Mathews together.
Lahiru Thirimanne was out for 10, stumped by B.J. Watling off Patel.
In the first session Thursday, Sri Lanka seamer Suranga Lakmal ripped through New Zealand's middle and lower order with 4-29 to bowl the visitors out for 249 runs. New Zealand won the toss Wednesday and opted to bat first.
New Zealand resumed Thursday on 203-5 with Taylor looking solid on 86 with Mitchell Santner on eight before collapsing.
Play started 15 minutes early because only 34 deliveries were possible in the third session on the opening day because of rain.
Taylor was out in the first delivery he faced for the day, slashing at a ball leaving him from Lakmal's bowling and giving a catch to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella.
Taylor's 132-ball innings included six boundaries. It was his 31st half-century in test cricket.
With 11 runs added to the score, Santner (13) left a ball from Lakmal pitching outside off stump, which came back to trap him lbw.
Spin bowler Akila Dananjaya returned Sri Lanka's best bowling figures of 5-80.