After defeating New Zealand by six wickets in the first Test match of the two-match series on Sunday, Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne heaped praises on his bowlers for restricting the Kiwis to a low total of 249 in the first innings.

“After losing the toss, the bowlers did a great job to restrict them to 249. When the ball was hard, it was turning and bouncing, but once it got old, batting became easier,” said Man of the Match Karunaratne in the post-match presentation ceremony.

Karunaratne, who scored 39 runs in the first innings, played masterfully and scored 122 runs in the second innings to help Sri Lanka bag the match with ease. The captain with Lahiru Thirimane added 161 runs for the opening wicket before the latter was dismissed by William Sommerville.

“It was not easy to bat in the fourth innings. We wanted a good partnership and that’s what me and Thirimanne discussed. Once you get set, you got to finish the job.

“We saw (Ross) Taylor and (BJ) Watling bat on this pitch. So we were saying it’s not too dangerous, we just have to spend some time in the middle,” Karunaratne said.

(With inputs from IANS)