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New Zealand wins toss, bowls in 1st test vs. Sri Lanka

December 14, 2018
Sri Lanka lines up for their national anthem prior to the start of play on day one of the first cricket test in Wellington, New Zealand, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl against Sri Lanka in the first cricket test at the Basin Reserve on Saturday.

Captain Kane Williamson was able to give his three seamers first use of a pitch which had some light grass cover, and of overcast conditions with 80 percent humidity which should assist swing.

The new ball pair of Trent Boult and Tim Southee are rejoined by third seamer Neil Wagner, who missed New Zealand’s most recent test against Pakistan. Spinner Ajaz Patel will play his first test on home soil.

Sri Lanka also named three seamers — Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara — alongside spinner Dilruwan Perera.

Danushka Gunathilaka will open the batting with Dimuth Karunaratne after performing well in Sri Lanka’s only warm-up match.

New Zealand comes into the two-test series after beating Pakistan 2-1 in its three-test series in the United Arab Emirates. The New Zealand team returned home only six days ago but Williamson said the quick turnaround makes it “almost like the continuation of a series.”

Sri Lanka suffered a 3-0 home loss to England in its latest test series. It is strengthened by the return from injury of captain Dinesh Chandimal.

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Lineups:

New Zealand: Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, B.J. Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult.

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara.

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