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New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Day 5 Highlights: Kane Williamson's Ton Propel New Zealand To 2-Wicket Win
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Day 5 Highlights: Kane Williamson's heroic century guided New Zealand to a victory by two wickets against Sri Lanka on Day 5 of the first Test
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Day 5: Kane Williamson is at the crease.© AFP
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Day 5 Highlights: Kane Williamson's heroic century guided New Zealand to a victory by two wickets against Sri Lanka on Day 5 of the first Test. Chasing 285, New Zealand began Day 5 at 28/1 with Williamson and Tom Latham taking the guard. The hosts lost some wickets but Williamson remained unbeaten at 121 as New Zealand won by two wickets. Apart from him, Daryl Mitchell also smashed 81 runs. For Sri Lanka, Asitha Fernando scalped three wickets while Prabhat Jayasuriya took two wickets. Sri Lanka's defeat paved way for Team India into the final of the World Test Championship against Australia, which will be played at the Oval in June this year. (SCORECARD)
Here are the Highlights of Day 5 of 1st Test match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, straight from Hagley Oval, Christchurch:
1st Test, Sri Lanka in New Zealand, 2 Test Series, 2023, Mar 09, 2023
Day 5 | Match Ended
Hagley Oval, Christchurch
New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 2 wickets
Topics mentioned in this article
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NZ vs SL, 4th Test, Day 5 Live Updates
Right then, that's it from the coverage of this riveting Test match! New Zealand have taken a 1-0 lead in this 2-match Test series. Sri Lanka would be extremely disappointed. These two sides will meet again 17th March for the second Test match. Sri Lanka would certainly come out all guns blazing as they will look to avenge this defeat. The first ball will be at 3.30 am IST (10 pm GMT, previous day). But you can join us early for the build-up. Until then, take care and goodbye!
Daryl Mitchell wins the Man of the Match award for his outstanding effort with the bat across both the innings.
It was rather a forgetful start with the blade for Sri Lanka when they came back out to set a target for the hosts. Blair Tickner finally enjoyed some time out with the ball in hand after being sent to the cleaners in the first innings, where he leaked 103 runs. Tickner though redeemed himself as he ran through the Sri Lankan top-order with quite some ease and picked up three wickets to put the opposition on the back foot early on. Then came the veteran, Angelo Mathews who brought some calmness back in the middle, with his experienced strokeplay. He was well supported by Dinesh Chandimal initially and later by Dhananjaya de Silva. Mathews went on to score his century but slipped out soon after. Dhananjaya de Silva then anchored the innings really well and remained unbeaten at 47 runs but rather saw wickets falling regularly at the other end. In the end, they posted a target of 285 runs. During this innings, New Zealand bowlers were struggling to find their rhythm. To add to the misery, Neil Wagner endured a hamstring injury which kept him off the field. Although, Matt Henry took the matter into his own injured hands, as he was playing with three stitches between his thumb and index finger, that too, on his bowling hand. He was the one who got the timely wicket of Angelo Mathews to shift the momentum back on their side.
In reply, New Zealand were off to a positive start. Their openers set the tone of their innings with a 67-run opening stand, but once Conway slipped out, some sort of floodgates opened up and Sri Lankan seamers made the most of it by sending back Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls cheaply. Tom Latham though continued on his merry way, racked up a half-century but could not convert it into a three-digit score. Then it was mainly a Daryl Mitchell show, along with the tail-enders and boy, they turned things around completely. One would've thought Sri Lanka would head back into the third innings with some handy lead, instead, it all went haywire for them. Mitchell cut down a chunk of the deficit with his fifth century in Test cricket. The tail-enders later flexed their muscles and got a lead of 18 runs. For Sri Lanka, their bowlers were on song. It was rather a collective effort to bundle out New Zealand for 373 runs. Asitha Fernando stood out with his four-fer.
So, this is how it all started. New Zealand won the toss and opted to bowl first. The deck was green to start with on Day 1, with gloomy conditions as well. So bowling first was an ideal decision. Although, it did not go as per plan for the Kiwis. Sri Lanka lost an early wicket in the form of Oshada Fernando, but that certainly did not peg them back. Dimuth Karunaratne forged an alliance with Kusal Mendis for the second-wicket stand and stitched the highest partnership of the innings to get back them on track. Mendis took the aggressive approach while Dimuth Karunaratne was happy playing the second fiddle. The middle order got off to starts but could not make it count. Later, the tail-enders added some valuable runs to post 355 runs on the scoreboard. For the hosts, Tim Southee and Matt Henry bowled well in tandem and combined for 9 wickets in total. The skipper stood out with his five-wicket haul.
Sri Lanka might've thought that had a sniff, although, Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell joined forces and kept the bowlers at bay. Daryl Mitchell was the aggressor while Kane Williamson made sure to keep the runs ticking. The two stitched a stand of 142 runs. At this point, the Kiwis were cruising along really well and even had the run rate in check. But just when things looked easy, it was Asitha Fernando who turned up the heat with the ball in hand. He got rid of Daryl Mitchell on 81 runs. Soon after, Tom Blundell was sent back cheaply by a lethal yorker from Fernando. The game was hanging on a knife's edge till the very end since these two wickets fell. But this Sri Lanka bowling attack could not get the better of Kane Williamson. The ex-skipper made a valuable contribution with his ton and this victory wouldn't have been possible if Williamson had failed to find the boundary on the third last delivery of this Test match. Surely, a dagger through the heart of Sri Lanka. They gave it their all but might feel that they lost at certain moments in this Test match. This Sri Lankan unit will certainly take the learnings from this game.
So, it was not an ideal start to the action on Day 5, as the rain gods occupied the field initially. Credit to the groundstaff though who managed to clear things off pretty quickly once the rain passed by and presented us with an intriguing contest. The equation was pretty simple, New Zealand needed 257 runs in 53 overs. Kane Williamson and Tom Latham walked out at the crease to continue their innings. The two negotiated the seamers really well early on. Dimuth Karunaratne then decided to bring Prabath Jayasuriya into the attack and that changed the scenario a bit, as he got rid of Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls in quick succession. This put the Kiwis on the back foot.
Oh my god! Who would've thought that after a four-and-a-half-hour delay, we would be treated with a nail-biting finish to this Test match. Boy oh boy! This New Zealand team is getting red-ball cricket back to life. Sri Lanka had to win this Test match to keep their WTC finals hopes alive and they surely gave a run for their money. Although, in the end, Kane Williamson proved to be the difference between the two sides.
THAT'S IT! New Zealand win by 2 wickets! Unreal scenes at the Hagley Oval. Asitha Fernando goes short again and bowls it at the batter, Kane Williamson shuffles across to pull this one on the leg side but misses again. Niroshan Dickwella behind the wicket pouches it safely and fires a throw at the striker's end as the batters look to sneak in a bye. He does not hit and his throw is collected by Asitha Fernando in the middle of the pitch. Fernando picks the ball, turns around and hits at the non-strikers' end. Sri Lanka think they have got their man but the replays show that the dive by Kane Williamson helped him make his ground by the barest of margins. Sri Lanka are dejected but you gotta stand up and applaud Kane Williamson for his outstanding knock.
WOW! The lights have come on for the final ball. Felt like the gods took a click there.
Banged in short and around off, Kane Williamson goes for the pull but does not get any bat on it. He has a look a the square leg umpire who deems the ball to be below the batter's head. New Zealand need 1 off the last ball.
FOUR! BEAUTIFUL SHOT! The scores are level now. Asitha Fernando bowls it full and outside off, Kane Williamson picks the length early and leans into the drive. Creams the drive between deep backward point and deep cover for a boundary.
Neil Wagner jogs into the middle. He does not look injured at all. Where did the hamstring tear go?
OUT! RUN OUT! Another low full toss outside off, Kane Williamson gets across to the off side and whips this one towards deep mid-wicket. The batters complete a single but Williamson wants to retain the strike and calls Matt Henry for the second. Kasun Rajitha gets to the ball quickly and fires an accurate throw to Asitha Fernando at the non-striker's end. He takes the bails off and catches Henry short of the crease despite the dive.
Is that a run out? The umpire takes it upstairs to confirm. The replays show that Matt Henry is way out of the crease when the bails were taken off. The big screen shows OUT.
Low full toss outside off, Matt Henry reaches out to the delivery and hits it down to long off for a run.
Starts with a fullish delivery outside off, Kane Williamson swings his bat at it and gets it from the toe end of the bat. The ball rolls towards long on and he wants to come back for the second. But, he slips while turning and has to settle for a single.
Short of a length on middle by Lahiru Kumara, Matt Henry backs away and creates room. Flat bats this one back over the bowler's head. Ramesh Mendis runs around from long on and makes a good diving stop to save two runs for his side. A bit luck for Sri Lanka as Ramesh Mendis could've touched the toblerone for sure but there were just ropes at the long off region. It will be Kane Williamson on strike at the start of the next over with New Zealand needing 8 from the final 6 balls.
Back of a length outside off, Kane Williamson runs this one down to third man and takes a single.
Full and straight at the stumps, Matt Henry drives this one uppishly towards long off for a single.