Sri Lanka restrict New Zealand lead to 106 in first Test

Spin dominated in classic Galle fashion on day three of the opening Test match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand, as the tourists slumped to 124 for six at tea on Friday.

The Kiwis lost five wickets in the afternoon session, including the big wickets of captain Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, as Sri Lanka deployed their three spinners throughout the extended session.

Left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya, the man tipped to fill the boots of Sri Lankan legend Rangana Herath, struck a couple of massive blows in the second essay after failing to claim a wicket in the first innings.

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Williamson charged down the pitch and attempted to hit one over the head of the bowler but didn’t get the timing right and Kusal Perera at mid-on ran backwards for a terrific tumbling catch.

In his next over, Embuldeniya gave Sri Lanka the upper hand with the big wicket of Taylor. The batsman saw the width and stepped out to drive but ended up edging it to de Dhananjaya de Silva at slip.

Akila Dananjaya then joined the party, when Tom Latham pushed forward with hard hands and ended up edging one to gully, where Lahiru Thirimanne took a sharp catch to dismiss the batsman for 45.

Henry Nicholls was dropped on 25 by Niroshan Dickwella off de Silva but couldn’t capitalise on the opportunity after he was dismissed in De Silva’s next over when caught by Kusal Mendis at second slip.

Embuldeniya claimed a third wicket when Mitchell Santner was caught in the deep by Suranga Lakmal.

B.J. Watling, who had successfully reviewed after being given out leg before wicket to Emuldeniya, was unbeaten on 20.