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New Zealand v Sri Lanka 1st Test Day 5: New Zealand win thriller by 2 wickets

Kane Williamson makes his ground in last ball thriller
Kane Williamson makes his ground in last ball thriller
Kane Williamson brought the Kiwis home
Kane Williamson brought the Kiwis home

New Zealand beat Sri Lanka, in the 1st Test, at the Hagley Oval, by just 2 wickets, in what was a thrilling final day's play.

Match Summary

New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand

New Zealand 373/10 (107.3 ov) & 285/8 (70 ov)

Sri Lanka 355/10 (92.4 ov) & 302/10 (105.3 ov)

Result - New Zealand won by 2 wickets


Match Day Report

A Kane Williamson century led New Zealand to a dramatic last-ball, two-wicket victory against Sri Lanka on a rain-disrupted final day in Christchurch on Monday.

In a helter-skelter finish, the only Sri Lankans not guarding the boundary for most of the closing 10 overs were the bowler and wicketkeeper as New Zealand chased down their target of 285.

The winning run came from a bye after Williamson missed with his swipe at the ball. 

He finished 121 not out with New Zealand 285-8 and Sri Lanka two wickets shy of their target. 

The thrilling New Zealand win scuppered Sri Lanka's chances of making the World Test Championship final, handing the spot to India instead.

When rain wiped out the first two sessions on the fifth day, the umpires ruled there would be a minimum of 53 overs played in the evening, which meant New Zealand would have to average 4.85 an over. 

After a steady but slow start which saw the hosts at 90-3, Williamson and Daryl Mitchell picked up the pace.

They put on 142 in 26 overs for the fourth wicket with the precision of a one-day partnership. 

Sri Lanka paid a heavy price for Williamson being dropped by Niroshan Dickwella on 33 as he went on to produce his 27th century.

The 31-year-old Mitchell, a late arrival on the international stage, contributed 81 to lift his average to a phenomenal 59.04 from 26 innings. 

In a match of see-sawing fortunes, Sri Lanka had the upper hand on the opening two days before a first-innings century from Mitchell and a swashbuckling 72 from Matt Henry -- the last 60 from only 35 deliveries -- swung the game in New Zealand's favour. 

Sri Lanka fought their way back into contention on the fourth day with a defiant 115 from Angelo Mathews, who built partnerships of 105 for the fifth wicket with Dinesh Chandimal and then 60 with Dhananjaya de Silva. 

When the Sri Lanka second innings folded at 302 it left New Zealand needing 285 to win on a ground where the highest fourth-innings score was 256-8 by New Zealand in a 2018 draw against England.

Devon Conway was removed for five, leaving the outcome on a knife-edge going into the final day. 

When play resumed on Monday, Prabath Jayasuriya made early in-roads with the wickets of Tom Latham for 25 and Henry Nicholls for 20.

Asitha Fernando bowled Mitchell and Tom Blundell (three) and had Michael Bracewell caught for 10 to leave New Zealand 266-6 and needing a further 19 runs with 16 balls left.

Williamson kept going to take the game to the final ball as Tim Southee (one) and Matt Henry (four) came and went, with Neil Wagner not out nought.

For Sri Lanka, Fernando took 3-63 and Jayasuriya 2-92.

The second Test starts in Wellington on Friday.

Match Stats

Sri Lanka 1st Innings Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Oshada Fernando - 6.5 ov), 2-151 (Kusal Mendis - 32.5 ov), 3-151 (Dimuth Karunaratne - 33.4 ov), 4-233 (Dinesh Chandimal - 57.1 ov), 5-260 (Angelo Mathews - 63.5 ov), 6-268 (Niroshan Dickwella - 67.4 ov), 7-316 (Dhananjaya de Silva - 76.2 ov), 8-331 (Kasun Rajitha - 81.4 ov), 9-336 (Prabath Jayasuriya - 87.6 ov), 10-355 (Asitha Fernando - 92.4 ov)

New Zealand 1st innings Fall of wickets: 1-67 (Devon Conway - 28.4 ov), 2-70 (Kane Williamson - 31.6 ov), 3-76 (Henry Nicholls - 35.1 ov), 4-134 (Tom Latham - 50.1 ov), 5-151 (Tom Blundell - 58.2 ov), 6-188 (Michael Bracewell - 75.3 ov), 7-235 (Tim Southee - 82.6 ov), 8-291 (Daryl Mitchell - 97.4 ov), 9-360 (Matt Henry - 105.5 ov), 10-373 (Neil Wagner - 107.3 ov)

Sri Lanka 2nd Innings Fall of wickets: 1-28 (Dimuth Karunaratne - 11.4 ov), 2-47 (Oshada Fernando - 17.6 ov), 3-81 (Kusal Mendis - 33.4 ov), 4-95 (Prabath Jayasuriya - 45.6 ov), 5-200 (Dinesh Chandimal - 82.2 ov), 6-260 (Angelo Mathews - 94.5 ov), 7-266 (Niroshan Dickwella - 96.3 ov), 8-288 (Kasun Rajitha - 102.3 ov), 9-298 (Lahiru Kumara - 104.1 ov), 10-302 (Asitha Fernando - 105.3 ov)

New Zealand 2nd Innings Fall of wickets: 1-9 (Devon Conway - 4.6 ov), 2-50 (Tom Latham - 27.2 ov), 3-90 (Henry Nicholls - 35.4 ov), 4-232 (Daryl Mitchell - 61.5 ov), 5-238 (Tom Blundell - 63.3 ov), 6-266 (Michael Bracewell - 67.2 ov), 7-273 (Tim Southee - 68.3 ov), 8-280 (Matt Henry - 69.3 ov)

Playing XIs

New Zealand: Tom Blundell(WK), Kane Williamson, Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tim Southee(C), Michael Bracewell, Neil Wagner, Blair Tickner, Matt Henry

Sri Lanka: Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella(WK), Dimuth Karunaratne(C), Dhananjaya de Silva, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Kasun Rajitha,Lahiru Kumara, Asitha Fernando, Prabath Jayasuriya

Match Details:

Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2023 22:00

Venue: Hagley Oval, Christchurch, Christchurch

Toss: New Zealand elected to bowl

Officials: Umpires: Chris Gaffaney (New Zealand) Michael Gough (England) Richard Illingworth (EnglandTV)

Match Referee: Richie Richardson (West Indies)

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