Sri Lanka 76-0 at tea vs NZ, chasing 268 to win 1st test

GALLE, Sri Lanka (AP) — Captain Dimuth Karunaratne scored an unbeaten half-century as Sri Lanka made a promising start in pursuit of a winning target of 268 in the first test against New Zealand, reaching 76-0 Saturday at tea on Day 4.

Sri Lanka needs 192 more runs to win in four sessions with all of their second innings wickets remaining. Karunaratne is 52 not out, his 23rd test half-century, with Lahiru Thirimanne on 23.

The Black Caps were earlier bowled out for 285 in their second innings after struggling on 124-6. Their lower order rallied around B.J Watling to rescue the team from a precarious position.

Watling shared a 54-run partnership with Tim Southee and added 46 runs with William Somerville.

New Zealand's tail-enders then put on 36 and 25 runs for the ninth and 10th wickets, respectively, in an impressive show of defiance.

Despite the good start for Sri Lanka, the target is likely to prove extremely challenging, with the highest winning fourth innings score at Galle standing at only 99 runs.

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The match started 50 minutes late on the fourth day because of a wet outfield.

Sri Lanka was bowled out for 267 in its first innings on Friday with a narrow 18-run lead over New Zealand, who scored 249 in its first innings.

Watling was out for 77 on the fourth morning after Sri Lanka called up Lahiru Kumara to bowl, and the batsman edged an outswinger to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella.

Watling faced 173 deliveries and hit six boundaries.

Trent Boult made a useful 26 while Somerville remained unbeaten on 40, his highest first class score.

Left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya took 4-99 while Dhananjaya de Silva had 3-25. Kumara picked up two wickets.

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More AP cricket: www.apnews.com/Cricket and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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