Sri Lanka vs New Zealand: Kiwis defy bad light, rain-interruptions to clinch comprehensive innings victory against hosts on fifth day, square series 1-1

New Zealand had lost the first Test by 6 wickets and had to win the second to save the two-Test series and get on board in the World Test Championship table

Agence France-Presse, Aug 26, 2019 19:07:36 IST

Colombo: New Zealand held their nerve to clinch a comprehensive victory against Sri Lanka by an innings and 65 runs, in fading light in the second Test on Monday and levelled the two-match series 1-1.

The victory was achieved with an hour left on day five when Lasith Embuldeniya edged a short delivery from Trent Boult to Kane Williamson at gully. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 122 runs after New Zealand had declared their second innings on 431 for six with a first-innings lead of 185.

Sri Lanka vs New Zealand: Kiwis defy bad light, rain-interruptions to clinch comprehensive innings victory against hosts on fifth day, square series 1-1

Sri Lanka's Niroshan Dickwella reacts after being dismissed for 51 in the second Test against New Zealand. AP

The game went to the last hour of day five at Colombo's P. Sara Oval, and although 19.4 overs remained when tail-ender Embuldeniya was the last man dismissed, umpires could have called off play at any time with the light fast-deteriorating.

New Zealand’s bowlers were hurrying through their deliveries knowing too well that they were racing against time.

The first four days' play had been severely affected by rain, wet ground conditions and bad light, but surprisingly the final day stayed clear despite a 30-minute delayed start.

Sri Lanka had given away the initiative to New Zealand after losing five wickets for 32 runs before lunch, but a terrific fightback by wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella kept their hopes of salvaging a draw.

Dickwella, who wasn't able to keep wickets after having sustained a cut on his left little finger, showed plenty of character during a 51-run knock that lasted for three-and-a-half hours. It was his 13th half-century in Test cricket.

There was little support from the rest of Sri Lanka’s batsmen, with skipper Dimuth Karunaratne's 21 being the second-highest score. Suranga Lakmal and Dickwella had batted for over an hour, but the stand was broken when Lakmal gloved one to close-in fielder Tom Latham after tea.

Sri Lanka were still counting on Dickwella when he fell for his famous sweep shot.  The 26-year-old relies heavily on the shot to score his runs, but on this occasion, he had stayed away from taking undue risks.

Ajaz Patel switched ends and came on from the Air Force Flats side, and as Dickwella shaped to play the sweep shot, Latham at short leg moved to his left and positioned himself in the perfect place to snap up the chance.

Dickwella could hardly believe his luck before walking off dejected.

Latham's close in fielding was brilliant and so was his batting, particularly his battles with Sri Lankan spinners. The opening batsman was named Man of the Match for his 154, a seven-hour vigil in which he faced 251 deliveries and was involved in two hundred plus run stands.

Tim Southee, Boult, Patel and William Somerville claimed two wickets each while Colin de Grandhomme claimed the big wicket of Angelo Mathews.

Updated Date: Aug 26, 2019 19:07:36 IST

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
6 New Zealand 4784 252