Wellington, New Zealand: Opener Hamish Rutherford scored 37 to open the batting for New Zealand on a green pitch but was one of two batsmen dismissed before lunch Saturday on the first day of the second cricket test against Sri Lanka.
Kane Williamson was 34 not out and Ross Taylor was 13 as New Zealand reached 93-2 at the break after losing the toss and being asked to bat first.Rutherford was thought lucky to retain his place in the New Zealand lineup after making scores of just 18 and 10 in the first test against Sri Lanka at Christchurch, which New Zealand won by eight wickets. Since his breakthrough debut of 171 against England in March 2013, he has only passed 50 once in 14 tests.
He seemed bound for a half century Saturday after scoring 37 runs from 53 balls, with five fours.Rutherford played with confidence when the ball was in the zones from which he likes to score, mainly with drives through cover and mid-off. But he was dismissed, once again, on a poor shot just as he seemed to be giving New Zealand the early momentum in the innings.
Both Rutherford and his opening partner Tom Latham (6) were both out to catches by Prasanna Jayawardene behind the wicket, misjudging the line of deliveries pitched just short of a length.
Sri Lanka's seamers bowled well in the advantageous conditions early in the day, a big difference from the first test in Christchurch when New Zealand reached 441 in the first innings to set up its win.
Suranga Lakmal shared the new ball with Nuwan Pradeep, who was named to the Sri Lanka lineup for his ninth test at the expense of Shaminda Eranga, the opener in Christchurch.
Williamson gave New Zealand another chance just before lunch, knocking a ball wide of Dinesh Chandhimal at gully for the fifth four of his innings. He had added 31 for the third wicket with Taylor when lunch was taken.