Ross Taylor hit an unbeaten half-century to keep New Zealand afloat after Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya claimed five wickets on a rain-hit day one of the first Test on Wednesday.
New Zealand were 203 for five, having recovered from 71-3 at lunch, when rain stopped play for the day in the final session in Galle with Taylor batting on 86.
Dananjaya claimed his fourth five-wicket haul, bowling with a remodelled action after being reported for a suspect action last year.
The mystery spinner took three early wickets including skipper Kane Williamson for nought before Taylor put on 100 runs for the fourth wicket with Henry Nicholls.
Dananjaya, who was overlooked for Tests in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, trapped Nicholls for 42 to break the century stand and then got BJ Watling for one to make New Zealand slip further.
“There’s no drastic change to my action. I needed to change a few things and with the help of spin bowling coach Piyal Wijetunga, I did the necessary changes,” Dananjaya told reporters.
Taylor handled pace and spin with aplomb as he registered his 31st Test 50 and had no problems resisting Dananjaya, who mixed up his deliveries to outfox the batsmen.
Taylor registered the highest score by a Kiwi batsman in a Test match at Galle.
SCORES IN BRIEF
NEW ZEALAND: First innings 203 for 5 (Raval 33, Latham c Dickwella 30, Taylor 86 not out, Nicholls 42; Dananjaya 5-57)