Sri Lanka lost the wickets of Lahiru Thirimanne for two and Kusal Mendis for 32 as they closed the first day hit by bad light and rain on 85 for two wickets.
Batting with Karunaratne who has so far hit six fours off the 100 balls he’s faced is former captain Angelo Mathews on nought not out.
The Test got off to a soggy start after rain delayed the toss by 90 minutes and after one session of play in the afternoon it returned to cut short the final session to 32 minutes before bad light eventually ended play for the rest of the day.
Sri Lanka winning the toss under overcast skies took the bold decision to bat first and reached 71 for one at the tea break as the New Zealand fast bowlers didn’t find much assistance despite from the pitch despite the rain and the overhead conditions.
Karunaratne whose knock of 122 paved the way for Sri Lanka’s successful run chase in the first Test at Galle, once again led his team from the front batting throughout the afternoon session of play to score 37 not out out of 71.
Kusal Mendis who helped him in a half-century run stand fell in the session after tea for 32 when he edged a delivery from Colin de Grandhomme to wicket-keeper BJ Watling. His 70-ball innings contained four fours.
It was not the fast bowlers who got the initial breakthrough for New Zealand but the off-spin of William Somerville introduced into the attack in the 13th over by Kane Williamson. Somerville induced a false stroke from Lahiru Thirimanne who lobbed an easy catch to Williamson at short cover to end a 59-minute vigil for two runs at the wicket.
Sri Lanka made one change replacing Akila Dananjaya with Dilruwan Perera and New Zealand included fast bowler Colin de Grandhomme in place of Mitchell Santner.
Sri Lanka lead 1-0 the two-match series which is part of the ICC World Test Championship.