Sri Lanka cruised to a six-wicket victory over New Zealand as Dimuth Karunaratne scored his first century in 23 innings on day five of the first Test in Galle.

Karunaratne - who had reached 71 not out to lead Sri Lanka to 133-0 at the close of day four - scored 122 as he maintained his perfect record as Test captain.

Tom Latham's drop let Karunaratne off the hook early in Sunday's play and, though the hosts eventually lost their skipper when he edged Tim Southee behind, the damage was already done.

Angelo Matthews (28 not out) picked up the mantle and with the umpires granting an extension prior to lunch he sealed the win, and 60 ICC Test Championship points, when he nudged Trent Boult for a single, with Sri Lanka successfully chasing down 267, bettering their previous record run chase at Galle (99).

After a superb knock in the last session of day four, Karunaratne picked up where he left off, clipping New Zealand's spin bowlers around the pitch with ease.

Karunaratne hit six fours and one maximum, with that huge hit over midwicket from Ajaz Patel bringing up a 150 partnership with Lahiru Thirimanne (64), who was dismissed three overs later when the Black Caps reviewed an initially unsuccessful lbw appeal.

Kusal Mendis (10) was quick to stamp his authority on proceedings - hitting William Somerville for four on his second delivery before he launched a six over long on.

Mendis' cameo was a short one, though, with Patel drawing a lazy sweep that Sri Lanka's number three wedged straight to Jeet Raval.

But Matthews steadied the ship, keeping the strike ticking over between himself and Karunaratne, and the latter ended his long wait for a ninth Test hundred when he lobbed Patel for four.

With the hosts firmly in control, Sri Lanka's batsmen picked up the pace and, though Southee ended Karunaratne's innings before Kusal Perera (23) sent a Boult delivery to Mitchell Santner, Matthews gave Sri Lanka a 1-0 lead in the two-match series four overs later.

Australia coach Michael Cheika told his players to "suck it up" and move on to the next challenge after being thrashed 36-0 by New Zealand in Auckland.

With the Rugby World Cup getting under way in five weeks' time, there is little time for the Wallabies to stew and consider what might have been, after again failing to get their hands on the Bledisloe Cup.

They have not won at Eden Park since 1986 or claimed the Bledisloe Cup since 2002, and, aside from a spell early in the game when they were camped by the New Zealand line, Australia never looked like troubling the All Blacks.

Cheika, who admitted to being "terribly disappointed", nevertheless urged his team to "be resilient" following the heavy loss.

And he said they must not allow their plans for the more important quest in Japan to be knocked off track.

"You're going to be sad and disappointed but suck it up and get ready for the next one," said Cheika. "And build into the World Cup just how we've always planned to."

New Zealand made a raft of changes after their 47-26 to Australia a week earlier in Perth, and those paid off handsomely as they raided the Wallabies for five tries.

The teams could yet meet again at the World Cup, and Cheika will not lose sight of the fact Australia were better than their trans-Tasman rivals on home soil.

He added: "We've improved a lot since 2018 - on the field and off the field - and we have to take it on the chin.

"If you'd asked me how I was feeling yesterday or before the game, I was feeling really good about the improvements we'd made.

"And as terribly disappointed as I am about the game, I'm not going to throw them away, I'm going to put them into context."

Cheika is due to name his 31-man squad for the World Cup on Friday and said he would not rush to judge the team on the Eden Park performance.

He said, according to the Wallabies' website: "We just wanted all the games to play out and then we'll sit down early in the week and get it done."

New Zealand are confident an injury scare for fly-half Richie Mo'unga will prove nothing to worry about.

With the Rugby World Cup just five weeks away, it appeared concerning when Mo'unga had to be replaced midway through the second half against Australia on Saturday.

The 25-year-old, who scored New Zealand's opening try in their 36-0 Bledisloe Cup win, went off with a shoulder blow after clashing with Lukhan Salakaia-Loto.

But head coach Steve Hansen said in a post-match news conference at Eden Park he had no fears about Mo'unga facing a long lay-off.

"He's got a sore shoulder. He's not that bad, doc says he'll be fine," said Hansen.

"He got tipped up and fell on his shoulder. We'll know more in the morning, but doc's pretty comfortable with where he's at."

Hansen, after his 100th match in charge of the All Blacks, said he was pleased with New Zealand's response to their 47-26 defeat seven days prior in Perth as they retained the Bledisloe Cup.

"We had to respond to a performance last week that we would all say wasn't good enough from our point of view and an exceptional one from Australia," he said in quotes reported by the New Zealand Herald.

"It's a long time in sport, seven days, and I'm very proud of them. We got towelled up last week and I'm not sure any All Black has enjoyed that experience."

Sri Lanka put themselves in a strong position to win the first Test against New Zealand as their run chase began with an unbroken century stand.

Set 268 for victory in Galle, Sri Lanka were handsomely placed on 133-0 when fading light stopped play late on day four.

Dimuth Karunaratne reached 71 not out and Lahiru Thirimanne was undefeated on 57, in what was already a record first-wicket partnership for Sri Lanka in the fourth innings of a Test.

New Zealand, who sit second in the ICC Test rankings, stretched their overnight lead of 177 to 267, with BJ Watling adding 14 to his overnight score before being caught behind for 77 by Niroshan Dickwella off Lahiru Kumara.

William Somerville made an unbeaten 40, with Trent Boult cracking a rapid 26 and last man Ajaz Patel weighing in with 14, the lower-order batting success in the innings of 285 all out suggesting it was a wicket ripe for scoring on Saturday.

That was how it continued to look as Sri Lanka began chasing down their target, although Tim Southee and Trent Boult gave Karunaratne and Thirimanne cause for early worry.

Thirimanne was well beaten by a ball from Southee that narrowly cleared off stump, before moments later Karunaratne almost nicked a delicious delivery from Boult.

It was often Karunaratne who was riding his luck, and it was not until the 22nd over that Sri Lanka, ranked sixth among Test nations, registered a boundary.

Later, Watling could not cling to a difficult chance as Karunaratne got a bottom edge off Somerville, the ball going through the wicketkeeper to bring up the two runs that took him to a half-century.

Tom Latham at short leg missed out on a sharp chance as Karunaratne used up another life, and the same batsman was fortunate not to be stumped by Watling in the next over.

Somerville, a 35-year-old off-spinner playing just his second Test match, took three first-innings wickets and was unlucky to gain no further reward as Sri Lanka edged towards their target in the gathering gloom.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read saluted his team-mates after they retained the Bledisloe Cup with a clinical 36-0 win over Australia at Eden Park.

The world champions scored five tries without reply, as New Zealand made amends for last weekend's 47-26 defeat to the Wallabies in Perth.

Sonny Bill Williams, Sevu Reece and George Bridge were promoted to the starting XV and each scored a try, as Steve Hansen's 100th match in charge proved one to savour.

Read said: "It feels fantastic. A lot's been said all week and the guys really fronted. So, I'm so happy. It's a trophy that we cherish. I know the Wallabies do as well.

"We both really love playing for this cup and it showed in these two matches.

"I don't think you can expect to have a result like that, but it comes through hard work.

"The team truly believes in each other and that's what we're going to need moving forward."

His opposite number, Michael Hooper, had high hopes of becoming the first Australia skipper in 17 years to get to grips with the Bledisloe Cup trophy.

But Read it was who joyously lifted the silverware in Auckland, leaving Hooper to reflect on where the second game in the series went wrong for Australia.

Hooper said on Sky Sports: "The turnaround in seven days... they dominated all bar a few minutes of that game in all areas, they were really good at the scrum, lineout, so hats off to them.

"Our boys, we threw everything we had at them the whole game, probably let it get too far away in the end there.

"We've got a lot of heart, a lot of heart to come down here. We've had a really good week, unfortunately it didn't show out there tonight.

"But we'll rebuild. We're still rebuilding and gaining momentum.

"We'll have a couple of days off, it's going to take a toll on our bodies. We'll get back together, regroup, and see what we can learn from this game and build and get better."

Picked off in Perth, but awesome in Auckland, the All Blacks restored normal order in their Bledisloe Cup rivalry as they crushed Australia 36-0 at Eden Park.

Embarrassed by last weekend's 47-26 defeat to their trans-Tasman rivals, Steve Hansen's New Zealand restored national pride and retained their trophy with a ruthless win.

Hansen made changes, after accusing his players of producing "dumb footy" at Optus Stadium, where they lost Scott Barrett to a controversial red card.

Into the pack came Nepo Laulala and Patrick Tuipulotu, with the backs given a shuffle with the inclusion of George Bridge, Sonny Bill Williams and Sevu Reece.

Williams crossed for New Zealand's third try early in the second half, after scores from Richie Mo'unga and Aaron Smith had put the hosts firmly in control, and Reece bolted through for the fourth in the 67th minute - his first for the All Blacks.

Bridge applied the finishing touches with the fifth try in the 77th minute. The changes worked for Hansen, to put it mildly.

Tom Latham believes setting Sri Lanka in excess of 200 will give New Zealand a great chance of winning the first Test after BJ Watling dug in on an eventful day three in Galle.

Lasith Embuldeniya (4-71) claimed two early wickets as Sri Lanka reduced the Black Caps to 25-3 after Niroshan Dickwella (61) and Suranga Lakmal (40) got them up to 267 all out - securing a first-innings lead of 18.

Watling (63 not out) and Latham (45) made key runs as the spinners piled on the pressure with Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor falling cheaply. 

The tourists were leading by 177 on 195-7 when stumps were called due to bad light on Friday and Latham thinks Sri Lanka could be up against it if Watling and the tail can hang around on day four.

"I think anything above 200, we are not too far off from that," the opening batsman said.

"The important thing for us is to come back tomorrow morning and put up those partnerships like we did today. Like Tim Southee (23), Will Somerville can help us build a partnership with BJ, who has been outstanding today.

"Hopefully we can stitch that total to make as many as possible. We know how tough it can be in the fourth innings to chase down a score.

"It's a surface where when you get in, you can score, but sometimes things happen quickly in this part of the world. This wicket is no different.

"Through the three innings we have seen wickets lost in a hurry. Hopefully we can put pressure on the Sri Lankans and the wicket keeps deteriorating and the spinners will come into play."

Dickwella is confident Sri Lanka can pull off a successful run chase if they wrap up New Zealand's second innings before too long.

"The wicket is turning but it is slow turn. Slower than what we usually get in Galle. Even if we get a target of 225 or so, I think we can chase it down." said the wicketkeeper-batsman.

"Batting fourth will be tough on this wicket, no doubt, but we have a decent batting line-up. Those chasing stats are what teams have done in past.

"We're a different team and this is a different opposition. We have to play according the situation. Our batters will do the job, I feel."

A battling unbeaten half-century from BJ Watling frustrated Sri Lanka and gave New Zealand a lead of 177 at stumps on day three of the first Test in Galle.

Watling fought it out on a turning pitch and the wicketkeeper-batsman was still there on 63 when bad light brought an end to play late in the day, with the Black Caps 195-7 in their second innings.

Sri Lanka were dismissed for 267 in the morning session to take a first-innings advantage of 18, Niroshan Dickwella top-scoring by reaching 61 on Friday.

Lasith Embuldeniya, who finished the day with 4-71, struck twice to put New Zealand in all sorts of early trouble on 25-3, but Watling led the recovery and Tom Latham made 45 to leave the match nicely poised.

Sri Lanka added 40 runs in the morning after resuming on 227-7, Dickwella and Suranga Lakmal (40) extending their eighth-wicket stand to 81 before William Somerville (3-83) and Trent Boult (2-45) wrapped up the innings.

Jeet Raval fell tamely chipping Dhananjaya de Silva (2-16) to Dimuth Karunaratne in the covers and Lahiru Thirimanne took a brilliant skier running back from mid-on when Kane Williamson (4) tried to hit Embuldeniya over the top.

Ross Taylor gave his wicket away too easily, charging down the track and getting nowhere near the pitch of the ball, edging Embuldeniya to De Silva at first slip for three.

Latham and Henry Nicholls steadied the innings, with opener Latham launching Embuldeniya over midwicket for six.

Akila Dananjaya ended a stand of 57 by removing Latham, and the wicket of Nicholls soon followed. The impressive Embuldeniya then reduced New Zealand to 124-6 by dismissing Mitchell Santner on the stroke of tea, but Tim Southee was dropped twice as Sri Lanka allowed the lead to grow.

Watling played with great conviction under pressure, bringing up a resilient 17th Test fifty before Embuldeniya had Southee (22) stumped, ending a seventh-wicket partnership of 54.

The composed Watling struck Lahiru Kumara for back-to-back boundaries and Somerville hung in there prior to play ending under gloomy skies.

Michael Hooper says facing New Zealand with the prospect of ending a 17-year Bledisloe Cup drought "ups the hunger" for Australia.

The Wallabies thumped the All Blacks 47-26 in Perth last Saturday, taking full advantage of Scott Barrett's red card.

New Zealand lost their Rugby Championship title after South Africa beat Argentina later in the day and they will be looking for a first win in three Tests at Eden Park on Saturday, knowing they are in danger of slipping off the top of the rankings.

Australia have lost their last 18 Tests against the world champions, but captain Hooper is relishing the challenge of trying to get his hands on the Bledisloe Cup for the first time.

"These are the games you want to be a part of and it's even a level up again this week," the flanker said.

"You're going to a place where many a generation of Wallaby hasn't won and coming up against a great New Zealand side for some silverware on the line.

"It's fantastic being on the other end and certainly ups the hunger."

Assistant coach Simon Raiwalui knows Australia face a huge challenge at the Auckland venue.

"Obviously there's a history but we've been solely focused on what's in front of us. It's all in the present," Raiwalui said.

"We're under no illusions about what we face. It's a great All Black team full of quality players and they're going to come out and they're going to be fizzing."

Kieran Read insists the Bledisloe Cup decider with Australia will provide precisely the kind of high-pressure environment New Zealand thrive in.

The All Blacks suffered a stunning 47-26 loss to their rivals in Perth last time out, marking the highest points tally they have conceded in a Test and the joint-heaviest defeat in their proud history.

That result has given the Wallabies high hopes of a first series win over New Zealand since 2002 but Read says Steve Hansen's side are ready to put the record straight at Eden Park on Saturday.

"When you put in a performance like that, you want to rectify it," the captain said.

"We've got the chance this week, that's the best thing about it. We've had a good week but it's about putting it on the field.

"These moments are built for us as All Blacks and the way you're going to respond is crucial.

"This is a mental game as much as a physical game, so it's our response mentally and building up to the game in your head [that's important]. You can't do it all on the paddock.

"This group is hurting, that's how it should be in an All Black jersey and we've got the chance to go out and rectify that and we're excited by that."

The weight of history heavily favours New Zealand this weekend, with the nation unbeaten in 25 years at Eden Park.

Australia will be out to prove their thrashing of New Zealand last weekend was no flash in the pan when they attempt to win the Bledisloe Cup for the first time in 17 years on Saturday.

The Wallabies went on to crush the All Blacks 47-26 at Optus Stadium after Scott Barrett was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle on Michael Hooper.

That victory was not enough for Australia to win the Rugby Championship, with South Africa taking the title for the first time in a decade by beating Argentina later in the day.

Michael Cheika's men can still get their hands on a trophy ahead of the World Cup, though, as a famous win at fortress Eden Park will see them end a long wait to lift the Bledisloe Cup.

We take a look at a selection of key Opta facts for the trans-Tasman showdown in Auckland.

 

- Australia will be out to secure consecutive wins over New Zealand for the first time since a three-match streak in 2000-01.

- New Zealand have won their last 18 Tests against Australia at Eden Park and have not lost to the Wallabies at the venue since September 1986.

- The world champion All Blacks are winless in their last two Tests, having drawn against South Africa last month, and have not endured a longer run without a victory since a five-match losing streak in July-August 1998.

- Beauden Barrett has now scored 11 tries against Australia, the joint-most of any player against a single Tier 1 nation in Test history.

- Samu Kerevi made the most offloads (six) of any player in the Rugby Championship, one more than Australia team-mate Kurtley Beale and New Zealand’s Ben Smith.

- Australia have won only two of their last 10 Tests played away from home, those victories coming against Italy in Padova and Argentina in Salta in late 2018.

Australia coach Michael Cheika has no doubt over his team's hunger to regain the Bledisloe Cup as they prepare to face New Zealand again.

Cheika's side shocked the All Blacks in Perth last weekend, claiming a 47-26 victory in the first of two Bledisloe Cup matches this year, with the return fixture taking place in Auckland on Saturday.

New Zealand's defeat saw them surrender their grip on the Rugby Championship title, while they must win at Eden Park to retain the Bledisloe Cup, a trophy the Wallabies have not held since 2002.

Cheika told a news conference: "The Bledisloe Cup means a lot. It doesn't just mean a lot when you have it, it means probably more when you don't have it.

"That pursuit of trying to get it sometimes you sit off and you sort of defer it and say we'll take the game in our stride.

"But that's only hiding from the fact that we know we haven't had it for a long time and we're hungry to go there and do our best to try and take a trophy obviously.

"We know we're going to come up against an excellent opponent who is going to be ready to go as well and that's why I suppose the game is so looked forward to and anticipated."

Cheika's sentiments were echoed by Australia captain Michael Hooper.

"I said it last week, these are the games you want to be a part of and even a level up again this week for some of the stuff," Hooper said.

"It's just an amazing opportunity to be involved in. You go down to a place where many a generation of Wallabies hasn't won down there.

"You're coming up against a great New Zealand side for some silverware on the line, yeah it's fantastic being on the other receiving end and it certainly ups the hunger."

The Wallabies have just one further match ahead of the Rugby World Cup following the clash with the All Blacks, as they face Samoa in a friendly on September 7.

New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel claimed a second Test five-for but Niroshan Dickwella and Suranga Lakmal came to Sri Lanka's rescue as 12 wickets fell on day two of the first Test in Galle.

The excellent Akila Dananjaya (5-80) and Lakmal (4-29) wasted no time in dismissing the tourists for 249 in the morning session after they had resumed on 203-5, Ross Taylor failing to add to his overnight score of 86.

Half-centuries from Kusal Mendis (53) and Angelo Mathews (50) put Sri Lanka in a promising position, but Patel (5-76) generated sharp turn as Dimuth Karunaratne's side collapsed to 161-7 losing five wickets for 18 runs.

Dickwella (39 not out) and Lakmal (28 not out) ensured the first of two Tests was finally poised at stumps, though, seeing Sri Lanka through to 227-7 - a deficit of just 22 runs.

Taylor fell off the first ball he faced on the second day edging Lakmal behind with a loose stroke, and the paceman struck again by trapping Mitchell Santner leg before.

Tim Southee came down the track to dispatch Dhananjaya de Silva over the ropes, but was run out later in the over.

Trent Boult - who had the ball lodged in his helmet after attempting a sweep - added a useful 18 before Lakmal polished off the tail as the tourists lost their last five wickets for 44 runs.

Lahiru Thirimanne gifted the Black Caps a breakthrough when he was stumped giving Patel the charge in his first over and Karunaratne could have followed in the next over from William Somerville, but Taylor put him down at first slip.

Sri Lanka took lunch on 34-1 and Karunaratne (39) looked in good touch until he was snared lbw by the probing Patel with 66 on the board.

Kusal and Matthews played positively against the spinners, hitting Somerville and Santner respectively for six as they put on 79 for the third wicket.

A lapse in concentration cost Kusal on the stroke of tea, though, the right-hander wafting at a flighted delivery from Patel immediately after reaching his half-century and offering Taylor a simple slip catch.

That sparked a collapse, with Boult getting rid of Kusal Perera and De Silva also failing before Patel secured his fifth wicket by getting one to turn away from Mathews, who edged to Taylor at slip.

Somerville sent Dananjaya on his way for a duck as the procession of wickets continued, but Dickwella and Lakmal provided much-needed resistance with an unbroken stand of 66 to give Sri Lanka a great chance of taking a first-innings lead.

Adam Coleman has replaced Rory Arnold in the only change to the Wallabies' starting side as they look to win the Bledisloe Cup against New Zealand on Saturday.

Arnold is out due to a hand injury, with Coleman set to make his first Test start of the year when Australia visit Eden Park.

The Reds' Liam Wright could make his debut off the bench, while Rob Simmons has also been named among the reserves.

The Wallabies are also boosted by the inclusion of Adam Ashley-Cooper, named for his first Test of 2019.

Australia stunned the All Blacks 47-26 in Perth and are on the verge of winning the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002.

However, New Zealand are unbeaten in their past 42 matches at the Auckland venue – a run that dates back to 1994 – and the Wallabies have lost 22 straight games away to their rivals.

Australia: Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, James O'Connor, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Christian Lealiifano, Nic White; Scott Sio, Tolu Latu, Allan Alaalatoa, Izack Rodda, Adam Coleman, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Michael Hooper, Isi Naisarani.
Replacements: Folau Fainga'a, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Liam Wright, Will Genia, Matt To'omua, Adam Ashley-Cooper.

All Blacks boss Steve Hansen has shown his ruthless side by making big changes to his team for Saturday's Bledisloe Cup redemption mission against Australia.

New Zealand were dealt a 47-26 thumping by the Wallabies last weekend in Perth, and Hansen has dropped prop Owen Franks and wings Ben Smith and Rieko Ioane for the rematch in Auckland.

He has been pressed into two further changes, with lock Scott Barrett suspended after his red card in the first game and centre Jack Goodhue injured.

Into the pack come Nepo Laulala and Patrick Tuipulotu, with the backs given a shuffle with the inclusion of George Bridge, Sonny Bill Williams and Sevu Reece.

Anton Lienert-Brown keeps his place for the Eden Park tussle but shuffles from inside to outside centre to accommodate Williams.

Head coach Hansen accused his team of playing "dumb footy" after the first game.

Ahead of the chance to avenge that heavy loss, he said: "We have worked hard this week on our game and all that comes with it. We've had a great preparation and really excited and looking forward to a massive, must-win match for the Bledisloe Cup on Saturday.

"We know that Australia will be determined and confident after their win in Perth which makes the challenge even more exciting."

With the Rugby World Cup just weeks away, Hansen wants to see a reaction from New Zealand to the joint-heaviest defeat in their history.

He said: "There's a lot of pride in the team and we've talked a lot about the Bledisloe being the second most important trophy and now we get the opportunity to show that this week - all of us working well, working hard, working smart."

Afterwards he will be able to make a judgement on whether the 15 players he fields were the right choices to handle the high-stakes occasion, or whether he needs to search again within his squad for his strongest line-up.

Hansen added, on the All Blacks website: "Australia showed they're a good side. We've got to put them under some pressure and take away the confidence they've got from playing the way they did last week.

"You've got to have a mindset that you've got to do whatever it takes to get yourself mentally and physically ready to play the game, and then you've got to walk towards that pressure and enjoy the pressure of it."

 

New Zealand team to play Australia: Beauden Barrett, Sevu Reece, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Dane Coles, Nepo Laulala, Patrick Tuipulotu, Samuel Whitelock, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane, Kieran Read (captain).

Replacements: Codie Taylor, Ofa Tuungafasi, Angus Ta'avao, Jackson Hemopo, Matt Todd, TJ Perenara, Ngani Laumape, Jordie Barrett.

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