Blackcaps v Sri Lanka: New Zealand edge closer to second-test victory on fourth day at Wellington

New Zealand have completed their third straight test victory on home soil, dismissing Sri Lanka with an innings and 58 runs - and a full day's play - to spare at Wellington's Basin Reserve.

In contrast to their previous two - a one-run heartstopper against England on the same ground and a last-ball thriller against the Sri Lankans at Christchurch - this result was virtually a foregone conclusion, once the tourists fell 416 runs short of their rivals' first innings and were asked to try again.

Despite some determined resistance over their second effort, they were unable to make the Blackcaps bat a second time.

Blair Tickner celebrates a wicket against Sri Lanka
Blair Tickner celebrates a wicket against Sri Lanka. Photo credit: Photosport

The team from the subcontinent suffered a mortal blow on the stroke of tea, when debutant wicketkeeper Nishan Madushka holed out to NZ captain Tom Southee, off Blair Tickner's bowling, to expose a suspect batting tail.

Immediately after the break, they lost their last recognised batter, as Dhananjaya de Silva fell agonisingly short of a ninth test century, caught by Henry Nicholls, bowled by Michael Bracewell, for 98.

While Kasun Rajitha - used as a nightwatchman in the first innings - stuck around more than 100 balls for his 20 runs, delaying the inevitable, he was ultimately the last man out, as Southee captured the winning wicket.

The visitors arrived at lunch on 249/5, making a far better fist of their batting second time round, but still 167 runs away from making their rivals take guard again. They had lost three wickets through the morning, including both overnight batters Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews.

After bringing up his half-century before stumps on Sunday, Mendis holed out to Kane Williamson, off Matt Henry's bowling, in the first over of the new day, without adding to his score.

First-test centurymaker Mathews lasted only two more overs, before he was caught by Michael Bracewell, off Blair Tickner, for just two runs.

Reduced to 116/4, Sri Lanka set about rebuilding their innings through Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva, who both brought up fifties, as they put on 126 runs for the fifth wicket.

After the dramatic finishes in recent tests, this was about grinding to survive, but that hope suffered a significant blow two overs from lunch, when Chandimal caught a top edge off Tickner and was caught by Doug Bracewell, out for 62.

Madushka and de Silva put on 76 runs for the sixth wicket, almost breaking the back of an NZ attack that rolled down more than 200 consecutive overs across the two innings, but could not be denied, once those set batters were dispatched. 

Tickner was probably the pick of the bowlers, with the scalps of Mathews, Chandimal and Madhushka, and figures of 3/81, although Southee matched the performance with 3/51.

Henry Nicholls was named Man of the Match for his maiden double-century in the first innings, while Kane Williamson was Man of the Series, scoring 337 runs - including a century and double - at an average of 168.5.

While many Blackcaps stars now leave for the Indian Premier League, those left behind will take on Sri Lanka in three one-dayers and three T20s, starting Saturday at Auckland's Eden Park.

NZ 580/4d

Sri Lanka 164 & 358 (De Silva 98, Chandimal 62, Karnaratne 51, Mendis 50; Southee 3/51, Tickner 3/84)

New Zealand win by an innings and 58 runs

Sign up to receive news updates

By entering your email address, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Newshub and its affiliates may use your email address to provide updates/news, ads, and offers. To withdraw your consent or learn more about your rights, see the Privacy Policy.