Hamilton: Seamer Tim Southee claimed both Sri Lankan openers before Dinesh Chandimal and Udara Jayasundera mounted a recovery operation on day one of the second Test against New Zealand in Hamilton on Friday.
Sri Lanka, sent into bat on a green-top wicket, were 108-2 at lunch with Chandimal on 41 after facing 40 deliveries and Jayasundera on 31.
Chandimal was looking comfortable for the first morning of the Test and smashed seven fours in his innings.
Southee took two for 24 and was the most threatening of the New Zealand seamers who were nonetheless guilty of not showing line and length consistency.
He showed early menace when he had opener Kusal Mendis dropped at first slip with his second ball and in his following over found an edge from the same batsman that died just before reaching Martin Guptill at second slip.
Despite the wicket promising to help the quick bowlers it took New Zealand an hour to make the initial breakthrough.
Sri Lanka, seeking to rebound from a 122-run loss in the first Test, began their innings cautiously after being sent into bat.
It took 17 deliveries for them to move the scoreboard when Dimuth Karunaratne turned Trent Boult to leg for two.
Karunaratne reached 12 off 45 deliveries before a lapse in concentration resulted in an inside edge off Southee to give BJ Watling a regulation catch behind the stumps.
Mendis, who defied the seaming ball to play a more attacking game than Karunaratne, made 31 off 42 balls before giving Watling his second catch off Southee.
The right-hander had led a charmed life until then.
In addition to the earlier nicks off Southee, he also had a Doug Bracewell delivery clip the stumps but fail to dislodge them.
While New Zealand may feel satisfied with two wickets, they used up their two reviews, both inside the first 16 overs, and can ill afford to be on the losing end of any further close calls.
The losing reviews were for lbw appeals by Southee against Karunaratne and Chandimal with the tracker technology finding the first would have gone over the stumps while the second was both high and wide.