Despite Tom Latham scoring 67 at the conclusion of Day 2 of the first Test at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Friday, Sri Lanka fought back in the second half of the day to restrict New Zealand to 165 for 5.
The hosts took control of the game early on in the day by taking the final four Sri Lankan wickets for just 50 more runs over their overnight total and dismissing the guests for 355 before lunch. In the morning, Tim Southee and Matt Henry both took two wickets, finishing with five and four respectively.
After the opening wicket stand, Sri Lanka continued to strike at regular intervals, making sure the momentum stayed in their favour. Tom Blundell was defeated near the end of the day’s play by an angled-in delivery that pitched in line and moved away but caught the edge of his bat on the way to the ‘keeper. With a 193-run deficit still to be erased, Daryl Mitchell played a crucial role by maintaining consistency over three partnerships with Latham, Blundell, and Michael Bracewell. He reached stumps safely on 40 and undefeated.