New Zealand set Sri Lanka 268 runs to win 1st test

New Zealand's William Somerville plays a shot during the fourth day of the first test cricket match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Galle, Sri Lanka, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
New Zealand's William Somerville plays a shot as Sri Lanka's wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella watches during the fourth day of the first test cricket match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Galle, Sri Lanka, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
Sri Lanka's wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella unsuccessfully attempts for a stump to dismiss New Zealand's William Somerville during the fourth day of the first test cricket match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Galle, Sri Lanka, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
New Zealand's Trent Boult plays a shot during the fourth day of the first test cricket match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Galle, Sri Lanka, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

GALLE, Sri Lanka — New Zealand set Sri Lanka a challenging 268-run target to win the first cricket test against Sri Lanka on Saturday after its lower order rallied around B.J Watling to salvage the team from a precarious position.

The Black Caps were bowled out for 285 in their second innings after struggling on 124 for six. Watling led their resurgence, sharing a 54-run partnership with Tim Southee and adding 46 runs with William Somerville.

New Zealand's tail-enders then put on 36 and 25 runs respectively for the ninth and 10th wickets.

The target could prove challenging, with the highest winning fourth innings score at Galle standing at only 99 runs.

The match started 50 minutes late on the fourth day because of a wet outfield.

Sri Lanka was bowled out for 267 runs in its first innings on Friday with a narrow 18-run lead over New Zealand, who scored 249 in its first innings.

Watling was out for 77 on the fourth morning after Sri Lanka called up Lahiru Kumara to bowl, edging an outswinger to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella.

Watling faced 173 deliveries and hit six boundaries.

Trent Boult made a useful 26 while Somerville remained unbeaten on 40, his highest first class score.

Left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya took four wickets for 99 runs while Dhananjaya de Silva had three for 25. Kumara picked up two wickets.

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