Daniel Richardson

Daniel Richardson is a Wellington-based sports journalist for NZME. News Service.

Cricket: NZ batting collapse costs

When your 10th-wicket partnership is the highest you can put together in an innings there's a good chance you won't have made enough runs to be competitive.

That was certainly the case for New Zealand as they suffered a heavy 10-wicket defeat in the second session on day three of their first cricket test against Sri Lanka in Galle today.

New Zealand began day three on 35-1 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 their second innings.

The 34-year-old Herath claimed 6-43 in New Zealand's second dig to give him the impressive analysis of 11-108 from the match after he took 5-65 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 stand 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 crease, 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 96-8, which was effectively 70-8 after the Black Caps were behind by 26 on the first innings, and the Sri Lankans finished the job shortly after the interval as Jeetan Patel and Boult were cleaned up as the Kiwis were bowled 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 and Tharanga Paranavitana, who both began the second innings on a pair, made light work of the total.

Debutant Karunaratne finished unbeaten on 60, while Paranavitana stroked 31 and they barely looked troubled, which showed there were few demons in the pitch.

New Zealand seamer Tim Southee, who took 4-46 in the first innings, didn't take the field during Sri Lanka's run chase as he was hampered by a leg injury, which was a loss to the Black Caps' remote chances of pulling off an upset victory.

Doug Bracewell, who went wicketless in the first innings, was given the new ball in Southee's absence but failed to make an impact, while Boult bowled well again without reward as Sri Lanka cantered to a commanding victory.

- APNZ

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