The Black Caps claimed one wicket before lunch on day two but missed a golden chance to add another after being dismissed for 249 in their first innings of the opening Test against Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka reached 31-1 at lunch after Ajaz Patel made the breakthrough for New Zealand.
The left-arm spinner dismissing Lahiru Thirimanne stumped after tempting the Sri Lankan opener into charging and heaving wildly.
Two deliveries later, Will Somerville enticed Dimuth Karunaratne into a drive that he edged to Ross Taylor at first slip but the veteran of 92 Tests couldn’t hold onto the sharp chance.
The 13-over pre-lunch period Sri Lanka faced came after the Black Caps were dismissed for 249.
After starting the second day at 203/5, New Zealand made a nightmare start with Taylor caught behind for 86 attempting to cut the first ball he faced in the day.
After removing Taylor, Suranga Lakmal would take a second wicket shortly after with Mitchell Santner shouldering arms to a ball that would have crashed into the stumps from around the wicket.
Tim Southee would play a typical cameo, hitting a six in his 14 before being run out in bizarre fashion. The new-ball bowler charging down the wicket for what would have been a suicidal single after the ball ricochet off his pad to short third-man.
Southee’s dismissal brought his fellow opening bowler Trent Boult to the wicket for what would be another little cameo.
Always an entertaining man to watch bat, Boult was the victim of an amusing moment when he top-edged an attempted lap sweep, with the ball being stuck in his helmet grille.
Boult would smash 18 from 21 balls in a valuable partnership of 27 with Somerville before being caught at long-on off Lakmal trying to hit a second six.
The innings would be over next ball with Patel missing one off Lakmal to be out LBW.