Dimuth Karunaratne had led from the front with a brilliant century to give Sri Lanka a record win in the first Test at Galle. In the second Test at the P Sara Oval in Colombo, Karunaratne stood tall in only 36.3 overs of action which were possible as rain played spoilsport on the opening day of the match against New Zealand. The toss itself was delayed by close to a couple of hours as persistent overnight rain delayed the start of the match.
The groundstaff had to work hard to drain the excess water off the covers and some water had seeped in onto the outfield as well. With the lack of sun not aiding the drying process, the Sri Lankan groundsmen had to work incredibly hard to ensure that some action would be made possible.
Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat and the hosts made one change with Dilruwan Perera replacing Akila Dananjaya. Karunaratne set the stage with his aggressive strokeplay as he tackled Trent Boult and Tim Southee. The opening partnership weathered the first hour with the new ball and Lahiru Thirimanne survived a close chance on 2 when BJ Watling dropped him off William Sommerville.
However, the bowler had his revenge when Thirimanne chipped a flighted delivery to Kane Williamson at cover to fall for 2. Kusal Mendis came in and tackled the spinners well by employing the sweep and making good progress.
Sri Lanka made smooth progress until the tea break but rain once again delayed the start of the final session by 45 minutes and on resumption, Karunaratne continued to bat well.
The partnership between Karunaratne and Mendis crossed fifty but Colin de Grandhomme got the big wicket of Mendis when he got the right-hander edging an away-swinger to the keeper for 32. Angelo Mathews survived a testing couple of overs until rain and bad light brought an end to play.