Sri Lanka haven't had much to celebrate in the first test against the Black Caps in Wellington, but they found something to savour early on day three.

Having watched on as the Black Caps plundered 311-2 on day two, it took just four balls for Sri Lanka to strike on day three, in stunning circumstances.

Ross Taylor, resuming on 50, flicked the second ball he faced from seamer Lahiru Kumara. It flew at speed, but the man at short leg - Dimuth Karunaratne - took an incredible catch.

Fielding under the helmet, Karunaratne showed superb reflexes to first get his hands to the ball. He parried the ball into the air, and as he stumbled backwards, he snared the catch on the second attempt, being mobbed by his teammates.

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Ross Taylor of New Zealand leaves the field after being dismissed by a stunning catch. Photo / Getty
Ross Taylor of New Zealand leaves the field after being dismissed by a stunning catch. Photo / Getty

It meant that Taylor's hopes of progressing through to an 18th test century were culled, but the Black Caps continued on their merry way after the surprise setback.

Tom Latham (168) and Henry Nicholls (45) added an unbeaten 91, guiding the hosts through to 403-3 at lunch - a lead of 121 runs.