Cricket: Black Caps crash to 10-wicket loss

Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath (centre) celebrates with team-mates after having New Zealand's...
Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath (centre) celebrates with team-mates after having New Zealand's James Franklin (right) stumped during the third day of the first test in Galle last night. Photo by Reuters.
When your 10th-wicket partnership is the highest you can put together in an innings there is a good chance you will not have made enough runs to be competitive.

That was certainly the case for New Zealand as it suffered a 10-wicket loss in the second session on day three of the first test against Sri Lanka in Galle last night.

New Zealand began day three on 35 for one, with Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson at the crease, but Nuwan Kulasekara removed both of them early in the first session, which began a woeful collapse for the visitors.

Only Daniel Flynn lasted more than 45 minutes at the crease and his hour-long vigil to hold the innings together was undone on 20 when he was bowled by left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who bamboozled New Zealand in its second innings.

The 34-year-old Herath claimed six for 43 in New Zealand's second dig to give him the impressive analysis of 11 for 108 from the match after he took five for 65 on day one.

No New Zealand batsman - bar Flynn - even looked like troubling the scorers and it was awful to think that 20 was the highest score from a player in a black helmet.

No 11 Trent Boult came in when the cause was long lost and belted a couple of sixes and his 21-run stand with wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk was the highest partnership of the innings.

Some of the dismissals bordered on comical as Tim Southee was stumped by Prasanna Jayawardene as he wandered down the wicket, while James Franklin missed a ball that went between his legs and bounced off Jayawardene before he was also stumped.

New Zealand went to lunch at 96 for eight, which was effectively 70 for eight after the Black Caps were behind by 26 on the first innings, and the Sri Lankans finished the job shortly after the interval by cleaning up Jeetan Patel and Boult to bowl the Kiwis out for 118.

That total was New Zealand's fourth lowest against Sri Lanka and coach Mike Hesson must be wondering what he can do to turn this result around ahead of the second test that starts in Colombo next Sunday.

With only 93 required for victory, Sri Lankan openers Dimuth Karunaratne (60 not out) and Tharanga Paranavitana (31 not out) made light work of securing the win.

New Zealand seamer Tim Southee, who took four for 46 in the first innings, did not take the field during Sri Lanka's run chase as he was hampered by a leg injury.

Wellington fast bowler Mark Gillespie blasted 77 from No 11 to break an 85-year-old record for the province as it could only muster 239 on day one of its Plunket Shield match against Canterbury in Rangiora yesterday.

With his side in dire trouble at 126 for nine, Gillespie strode to the crease to join No 10 Andy McKay and plundered four sixes and nine fours in a whirlwind 63-ball knock that set a new mark for the highest score from No 11 for Wellington.

Gillespie's 77 bettered the previous record of 70 that was struck by William Brice in the 1926-27 season.

On-and-off New Zealand player Andrew Ellis was the chief destroyer for Canterbury as he nabbed six for 58.

Canterbury finished the day on 91 for two, with Dean Brownlie unbeaten on 53.

In Gisborne, Northern Districts wickets continued to tumble as Central Districts took control at the Harry Barker Reserve.

Central began day three on 341 for nine but failed to add any runs to its overnight total, giving the visitor a first-innings lead of 158 after ND was rolled for 183 on day one.

Northern was in serious trouble at 81 for six, before Daryl Mitchell (83) found support in lower-order partners Graeme Aldridge, who made 38, and Ish Sodhi, who racked up a neat 50.

Northern was eventually all out for 252, which left it in need of 95 runs for an outright victory. Central openers Jamie How and Jeet Raval were forced to come out for one over at the end of the day but each made one run to survive unscathed.

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