New Zealand took a lead of 177 runs at the stumps of third day’s play in the ongoing first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle on Friday. The visitors finished their day at 195 for the loss of seven wickets in the second innings.

Earlier, in response to New Zealand’s 249 in the first innings, Sri Lanka scored 267. Resuming the third day’s play with an overnight score of 227/7, the home team added another 30 runs before the Kiwi bowlers notched the last three wickets.

Trent Boult struck the first blood of the day after he ended Suranga Lakmal’s gritty knock of 40. Lahiru Kumara and Lasith Embuldeniya then held the fort for not long as William Somerville took home the last two Lankan wickets.

Jeet Raval and Tom Latham started the proceedings for the visiting team in the second innings. However, the opening pair did not last long as Dhananjaya de Silva provided the home team with the first breakthrough in the form of Raval who was dismissed at 4.

Latham was then joined by Kane Williamson who could not found his usual self and lost his wicket early at a meager score of 4 by edging Embuldeniya’s delivery to Kusal Perrera. The bowler took another wicket in quick succession as he showed Ross Taylor the way of the pavilion when the batter was at three.

Partnering Henry Nicholls, Latham saved the Kiwi ship from sinking and started restoring the innings. Both the batsmen showed determination as they avoided playing any risky shots and staged a 56-run partnership.

However, the party was not to last as Latham was dismissed four runs short of his half-century. Nicholls failed to produce another partnership with BJ Watling and lost his wicket right after at 26 to De Silva.

Next batsmen Mitchell Santner looked solid during his stay of 12 but failed to extend it to a bigger knock. Tim Southee joined forces with Watling to post the second 50-above partnership of the innings.

Meanwhile, Watling completed his half-century but saw Southee getting stumped off an Embuldeniya-delivery at 23. The all-rounder remained not-out at 63 and will resume the fourth day with Somerville who is batting at five.