Martin Guptill (left) celebrates after reaching his third Test century © Getty Images
Martin Guptill (left) celebrates after reaching his third Test century © Getty Images

Kane Williamson was dismissed for 88 off 123 deliveries at the stroke of tea as New Zealand reached a score of 229 for two after 54.5 overs on the opening day of the first Test against Sri Lanka. Martin Guptill however, managed to complete a long-awaited third Test century, which came after a gap of four years and 40 innings, as the hosts were in a commanding position at the end of the second session on Thursday at the University Oval in Dunedin. Nuwan Pradeep got the much-needed breakthrough for the visitors, with Williamson edged it to Dimuth Karunaratne at the slips while attempting a cut off the short, wide-pitched delivery. It brought the solid second-wicket stand between Guptill and Williamson, worth 173 off 233 balls. Live Cricket Scorecard, New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2015-16, 1st Test at Dunedin

It was an uncharacteristic error of judgement from Williamson who fell eight runs short of becoming the fifth batsman to post 1,000 runs in 2015. For Guptill, it was a return to form after he struggled for runs in New Zealand’s recent series against Australia where he averaged a shade over 13. LIVE CRICKET UPDATES: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2015-16, 1st Test at Dunedin, Day 1

Against a more lenient Sri Lankan attack he was more comfortable, assisted by an ounce of luck when twice the target of lbw appeals by Dushmantha Chameera. Sri Lanka unsuccessfully reviewed the first decision but accepted the second when replays showed a review might have been successful. But the chances offered by Guptill, including two shaky edges and a near run out, were few as he displayed confidence, particularly on the front foot.

In an innings filled with elegant off-drives, it was fitting Guptill reproduced his favourite stroke to bring up his century when he drove Suranga Lakmal to the boundary. It was the first time he has reached three figures in 41 innings since his last century, 109 against Zimbabwe four years ago.

Sri Lanka had earlier won the toss and elected to field first, with Udara Jayasundera making his international debut for Sri Lanka. The visitors had to settle for a new-ball combination of Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep after pace spearhead Dhammika Prasad was ruled out of the series even before the first ball of the series was bowled.

New Zealand, on the other hand, decided to bring in Neil Wagner in place of Mark Craig, reinforcing the New Zealand pace attack that also includes the new-ball pair of Tim Southee and Trent Boult, as well as Doug Bracewell, with Mitchell Santner being the only specialist spinner. New Zealand whitewashed Sri Lanka 2-0 on home soil the last time they played a Test series.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 107 for 1 (Martin Guptill 111*, Kane Williamson 88; Suranga Lakmal 1 for 58, Nuwan Pradeep 1 for 63) vs Sri Lanka.

Full Scorecard

(with inputs from AFP)