Angelo Matthews scored 128* (file)

Mathews starts tour with ton

Angelo Mathews was the main beneficiary on the opening day of Sri Lanka’s three-day match against a New Zealand XI at McLean Park, Napier.

The former Sri Lankan captain struck an unbeaten 128 off 177 balls to announce his readiness for the first Test against the BLACKCAPS, starting on Saturday at Wellington’s Basin Reserve.

Elsewhere, however, the Sri Lankan batting line-up struggled on a day in which bowl dominated bat – the tourists totalling 210 for nine declared in their first innings, courtesy of an unbroken 10th wicket partnership of 106 between Mathews and Lahiru Kumara – and the NZ XI going to stumps at 67 for four.

Mathews brought up his 50 off 96 balls and his century off 150, striking 16 fours and a six along the way.

But only two of his team-mates managed to eclipse double-figures: skipper Dinesh Chandimal was dismissed for 26 after driving aerially at Liam Dudding, and Dhananjaya de Silva was chipped a Peter Younghusband leg-spinner to mid-on after reaching 14.

Left-arm wrist-spinner Blake Coburn, who snared three for 44,; Younghusband, with two for 25, and Michael Snedden (two for 29) were the most successful of the NZ XI bowlers.

In response, the NZ XI found the going no easier, losing Dean Robinson when the total was four; Luke Georgeson and William O’Donnell at 35, respectively, and Dale Phillips shortly before stumps.

At the wicket at the close were Sandeep Patel on 14, with Snedden unbeaten on 0.

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