Sri Lanka Bowl First Against New Zealand!

Sri Lanka won the toss and predictably elected to bowl on a greenish wicket in the first Test between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in Christchurch Friday.

“There was no doubt,” captain Angelo Mathews said as he banked on his young pack of seamers doing the job.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said he would also have bowled first and ruefully added he hoped “it browns off pretty quickly.”

Boxing Day marks the return of Test cricket to Christchurch for the first time since the city was ravaged by a powerful earthquake in February 2011 which claimed 185 lives.

The match, being played on a purpose-built arena at Hagley Oval, also serves as a shake-down of facilities head of the World Cup which starts at the same venue and featuring the same two teams on February 14.

New Zealand and Sri Lanka have played each other 28 times since their first clash in 1983, with New Zealand winning 10 Tests, Sri Lanka eight and 10 were drawn.

Teams:

New Zealand – Brendon McCullum, Trent Boult, Mark Craig, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Hamish Rutherford, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson

Sri Lanka – Angelo Mathews, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne, Niroshan Dickwella, Prasanna Jayawardena, Tharindu Kaushal, Dhammika Prasad, Shaminda Eranga, Suranga Lakmal

Umpires: Richard Illingworth (ENG), Bruce Oxenford (AUS)

TV Umpire: Steve Davis (AUS)

Match referee: Chris Broad (ENG)