An unbroken 147-run partnership by Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera put Sri Lanka in command of the second Test against New Zealand on Wednesday, as the hosts closed day one at 262-3.
New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori reached a rare double by taking his 300th Test wicket to add to 3,000 Test runs, but Sri Lanka dominated after that milestone was reached.
Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat, but got off to a poor start losing opener Tharanga Paranavitana (19) with the total on 34. Vettori provided the breakthrough for the Black Caps, eliciting an edge from Paranavitana to Ross Taylor at slip.
Shortly after lunch seam bowler Iain O’Brien deceived the dangerous Tillakaratne Dilshan (29) with a slower ball and took a good return catch.
Vettori then reached his rare milestone by snaring opposing captain Kumar Sangakkara (50) caught by Jacob Oram.
He becomes only the eighth player to achieve the 3,000-300 double, along with Kapil Dev (India), Richard Hadlee (New Zealand), Ian Botham (England), Imran Khan (Pakistan), Shane Warne (Australia), Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka) and Shaun Pollock (South Africa).
Sangakkara faced 96 balls and hit nine boundaries in a patient innings that typified an opening day when Sri Lanka was more methodical than dynamic, scoring at less than three runs per over.
Samaraweera and Jayawardene slowly built a partnership that changed the complexion of the game. Jayawardene made a patient 79 with seven boundaries, requiring 210 balls to do so. Samaraweera was going at a better clip, scoring 78 off 139 balls and hitting 10 boundaries.
Vettori returned 2-65 to be the best of the New Zealand bowlers.
Sri Lanka made three changes to its team from the first Test: strike bowler Nuwan Kulasekera, spinner Ajantha Mendis and Anjelo Mathews were rested, replaced by Dammika Prasad, Rangana Herath and Chamara Kapugedera. New Zealand was unchanged.