Sri Lanka made a strong start to the first Test against New Zealand in Christchurch, reaching 120-1 at lunch on day one after being asked to bat. Kusal Mendis was unbeaten on 73 off just 51 balls, including 15 boundaries, while captain Dimuth Karunaratne was not out on 33. New Zealand captain Tim Southee won the toss and elected to bowl on a green-tinged wicket at Hagley Oval. Southee himself claimed the only wicket to fall before lunch, having Oshada Fernando caught down the leg side for 13. The visitors are hoping to win both Tests against New Zealand to give themselves an outside chance of reaching the World Test Championship final.