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New Zealand opt to bowl in first Sri Lanka Test


WELLINGTON- New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl on a green wicket in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Wellington s Basin Reserve on Saturday.

Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson said he expected the pitch would suit his three-pronged pace attack, comprising Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner.

“There s obviously a bit of green grass around, though it s usually a good wicket and ages pretty well,” he said.

“So it s important we put the ball in the right area.”

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal said he expected the pitch would be lively at the start of the match and test his opening batsmen.

“If we can keep our wickets in the first hour that would be great,” he said.

Sri Lanka have also selected three seamers in Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, with Dilruwan Perera the sole spinner.

The tourists, ranked sixth in the world, have lost their last five Tests against New Zealand and are coming off a 3-0 Test series whitewash against England last month.

Fourth-ranked New Zealand enter the two-Test series full of confidence after last week securing their first away Test series win over Pakistan in 49 years in Abu Dhabi.

New Zealand: Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult.

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara.

Umpires: Richard Illingworth (ENG), Michael Gough (ENG).TV umpire: Rod Tucker (AUS).Match referee: Richie Richardson (WIS).