COLOMBO - Tim Southee rattled Sri Lanka with two wickets off three balls to put New Zealand in command on the second day of the second and final Test at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo yesterday.
The fast bowler removed opener Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara in his second over before Sri Lanka struggled to reach 43-3 in their first innings at stumps in reply to New Zealand's 412.
Southee, who also grabbed four quick wickets in the opening Test in Galle, again rocked the Sri Lankan top order as he bowled Dilshan (five) and then had Sangakkara caught pulling by Trent Boult at fine-leg.
Boult also struck early, having skipper Mahela Jayawardene (four) caught by Kane Williamson at gully to reduce the hosts to 12-3.
Angelo Mathews was unbeaten on 20 with Tharanga Paranavitana nine not out when play was called off because of bad light, with seven overs remaining in the day.
Sri Lanka lead the series 1-0 following their 10-wicket win in the first Test.
New Zealand had been strongly placed at 276-2 before losing their last eight wickets for 136, with left-arm spinner Rangana Herath finishing with 6-103 for his third successive haul of five or more wickets in an innings.
Herath took six of the eight New Zealand wickets that fell in the day, including those of well-set Ross Taylor (142) and Williamson (135), after the tourists had resumed at 223-2.