Cricket: Blackcaps roll Sri Lanka to secure series draw with second test win

  • 27/08/2019

New Zealand skittled Sri Lanka out for just 122, taking a series-levelling victory by an innings and 65 runs on the final day of a rain-hit second test in Colombo.

The Blackcaps had batted on for five overs in the morning, allowing BJ Watling to complete a century before declaring their first innings closed on 431/6.

That gave the tourists, who lost the opening test in Galle, a lead of 187 with 91 overs of play left.

Their bowlers then provided them with the early strikes they needed, reducing Sri Lanka to 32/5 before lunch.

"A great effort to push for victory and ultimately come out on the winning side," New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said at the presentation ceremony.

"It was an outstanding effort from the first innings itself. And then the batters scored at a rate that allowed us to move the game forward. Deserve to be 1-1."

The hosts did not have regular captain Dimuth Karunaratne available to open the innings after he suffered a torn quadriceps while fielding on day three.

He was unable to bat higher than number seven in the second innings, though when he did take to the field, he and Niroshan Dickwella batted resolutely for a 51-run sixth wicket partnership that give Sri Lanka hopes of a draw.

Karunaratne eventually fell lbw for 21 to seamer Tim Southee, while wicketkeeper Dickwella, who had suffered a finger injury, delayed the inevitable a little longer with 51.

The Sri Lanka skipper blamed his side's batting in the first innings for defeat.

"I think it was a pretty good wicket," Karunaratne said.

"We needed to be patient and put a big score, 240-odd wasn't enough."

Earlier in the day Watling had remained unbeaten on 105, completing his seventh test century before captain Kane Williamson declared.

The Blackcaps have come out aggressively on the final day as they chased a series-tying victory.

The early declaration allowed the NZ bowling attack the majority of the final day to take the 10 wickets required for victory, and they took that opportunity and ran with it.

Trent Boult snared Kusal Perera caught behind early, with a brilliant direct hit run-out by Ajaz Patel ensuring both openers departed without scoring.

Colin de Grandhomme had Angelo Mathews edge to Ross Taylor at first slip off his second delivery of the day, and Patel soon had Southee taking one at second slip to dismiss De Silva.

The pick of the bunch came courtesy of Will Somerville, who spun a superbly flighted delivery through Kusal Mendis' gate to put the visitors firmly on top.

After a slight delay to the start of play due to a wet outfield, Colin de Grandhomme came out swinging immediately and was caught at deep square leg for 83.

Watling - who was unbeaten on 81 overnight - ramped up his intent with a flurry of boundaries on his way to notching his seventh test hundred with 105 not out.

Tim Southee made a telling late cameo, finding the rope regularly and closing the innings out with consecutive sixes in a quick-fire 24 off just 10 balls.

Trailing 1-0 in the two-game salvo, New Zealand need a win to salvage a series draw.

Rain had allowed just 66 overs on the first two days of the match, and 48 overs on the fourth.


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