Seven wickets on his test debut wasn't enough for Will Somerville to keep his place in the Black Caps squad.
Gunathilaka who reached his half-century off 59 balls struck 12 fours and one six in his innings and featured in a century (116) opening partnership with Lahiru Thirmanne who made a solid 45 off 83 balls (6 fours) as Sri Lanka ended the day at 160 for two wickets.
He has taken 114 of his 200 wickets on spinner-friendly wickets in the United Arab Emirates in 17 Tests.
New Zealand are slated to meet Sri Lanka for their first Test in Wellington from December 15-19, while second and final Test will be played in Christchurch from December 26-30. However, a handy cameo in the third test, a lack of like-for-like replacements, and contributions with the ball (five wickets at 25.6), was enough for the 32-year-old to keep his spot. "This is one big issue that constantly troubled us in the 10 Test matches Pakistan have played since the retirement of Younis [Khan] and Misbah [-ul-Haq]".
"Ajaz certainly grabbed his opportunity on the UAE tour and he's a proven performer in New Zealand conditions", said selector Gavin Larsen.
Uncapped batsman Will Young has also been added to the squad as batting cover after strong performances in domestic cricket and for the New Zealand "A" side.
"We must overcome these mistakes which cost us games in UAE against New Zealand, this was the series we should have won", he said.
Speaking to BlackCaps TV, Young was blown away by being named in the New Zealand squad for the first time. "He scored hundreds against Pakistan A and India A in recent months and fully deserves his call-up".
"The first global of the home summer is always an exciting time and the revamped Basin Reserve should be a fitting setting to launch the Sri Lankan tour".
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