At the end of Day 4 of the New Zealand-Sri Lanka first Test at Christchurch, the game was extremely close. (March 12). After Angelo Mathews’ stunning century helped the Lankans set a lofty goal, the Tim Southee-led hosts were 28 for 1 in their pursuit of 285, which was a challenging target.
On Day 5, on Monday, March 13, New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka to prevent them from making it to the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final thanks to previous captain Kane Williamson’s 121* and Darly Mitchell’s blitz (81 off 86 balls).
The Islanders had to dominate the Kiwis in the two-match Test series, but after losing the first match, they are no longer in contention for the WTC championship; Team India will now face Australia in the final.
Rain delayed the start of Day 5. The Black Caps were expected to face a minimum of 53 overs and would need an additional 257 runs to pull off a surprising victory after the weather cleared.
Tom Latham, who started for New Zealand, was gone. Henry Nicholls attempted a good game but left for a 24-ball 20. It provided a glimpse into the hosts’ thoughts as they pursued the objective.
After Nicholls was dismissed, Mitchell, whose century had given the Black Caps a slim 18-run advantage, exploded. Williamson also kept his end of the bargain, but he increased the stakes and added some urgency to the pursuit. Despite appearing rusty, the former skipper didn’t get bogged down and give up his wicket.
Williamson-Mitchell took the initiative to run aggressively and find the boundaries during their 142-run stand to keep the scoreboard moving. Mitchell was dismissed for an amazing 86-ball 81 that included three fours and four sixes. Williamson’s 27th Test hundred, despite the frequent loss of wickets and some tight bowling, still managed to lead the home team to a historic two-wicket victory on the final delivery of the match.
Williamson attempted to hook but was unable to make contact with Asitha Fernando’s final ball, which she bowled on the middle and leg stump. Niroshan Dickwella, the wicketkeeper, missed striking the stumps at the striker’s end, so Williamson and Neil Wagner sprinted to steal a run.
Sri Lanka, led by Dimuth Karunaratne, battled valiantly from the first day. They made 355 after being given the opportunity to play first. They scored quickly. Additionally, they had New Zealand flailing at 151 for 5 but were unable to quickly dismiss their middle and lower order. The hosts managed 373 as a consequence of Mitchell’s 102 and Matt Henry’s 72, giving them a crucial lead. Mathews’ 115 later brought SL to 302 all out, creating a challenging 285-run goal. NZ’s attacking performance, however, ended the game for SL and eliminated them from contention to compete in the WTC final.
According to Rounaq Sehrawat, Kane Williamson’s 28th century helped New Zealand defeat Sri Lanka by two wickets in a thrilling finale at Christchurch. The World Test Championship aspirations of Sri Lanka were dashed with this victory, which gave New Zealand a 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series.
Day 5 began with New Zealand at 28/1 and requiring 257 more runs to win the match. On Day 5, the home team got off to a quick start thanks to opener Tom Latham and previous captain Kane Williamson. Latham got off to a good start but was unable to build on it, as spinner Prabath Jayasuriya dismissed him for 25 to claim Sri Lanka’s first wicket of the day.
Henry Nicholls got off to a strong start as well, but Jayasuriya struck once more to stop New Zealand’s advance, leaving them floundering at 90/3 in 35.4 overs. Williamson went on to make his 34th Test half-century, but he had other ideas in mind. Williamson had Darly Mitchell to help him out, and both men achieved their eighth fifty in a Test. For the fourth wicket, the two Kiwi batters put up a 142-run combination. Williamson served as the anchor in the relationship, and Mitchell was the aggressor.
To push the Kiwis back, Asitha Fernando took two wickets in two overs. Before cleaning up Tom Blundell, he first got rid of Mitchell, who left after scoring 81 runs off of 86 deliveries.