Wicketless day sets up Basin Reserve miracle

 New Zealand vs Sri Lanka - 1st Test

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The game was all but lost for Sri Lanka when they resumed day four on 20/3, needing a further 276 runs to avoid an innings defeat in the opening Test match of New Zealand’s home summer. 

All odds were against the visitors who came into the series having been thrashed 0-3 at home by the Englishmen. There were possibilities of the match ending by lunch on day 4 or if not at tea for sure ? There’s no way Sri Lanka would keep out a strong Blackcaps bowling unit after what they’ve been through in their last few Tests, especially with the batting collapses. That was the general thought among most experts and probably most Sri Lankan fans too.

But finally came a session Sri Lanka clearly won. Over 100 runs were scored in the opening session while Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews were hardly troubled. They continued to wear down the New Zealand attack. Neil Wagner kept delivering a familiar bouncer barrage at both batsmen but this time they refused to take it on and fall into the trap like they had in the first innings.

Mendis was the first to get to a half century before former Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews went past the same landmark for the second time in the match as Sri Lanka continued to reduce the deficit. None of the Kiwi bowlers looked penetrative on a windy day in Wellington while Wagner continued to use the short ball against the two set batsmen.

The defiance continued as the second session ended without the loss of a wicket and Mendis a couple of runs short of a remarkable century. Mendis would eventually get to the milestone – his 6th Test century – with a pull shot off Wagner that ran down to the fine leg boundary soon after the tea break.

The Blackcaps were trying all their options until the second new ball was available. Collin de Grandhomme bowled a tidy spell, moving the old ball around but he couldn’t find a way through the defenses of Mendis and Mathews.

Then came Angelo Mathews’ moment. He got to his 9th century, following on from his brilliant 83 in the first innings. It was a roar of a man on a mission. He was dropped not too long ago citing fitness concerns in the shorter formats by the previous set of selectors led by Graeme Labrooy. He in-fact celebrated his century with push-ups giving a timely reminder to the selectors and all his critics that he is fit as ever.

New Zealand heads were falling fast and their body language showed that they just wanted to get back in the sheds. The second new ball hardly troubled the set duo of Mendis and Mathews with minimal lateral movement. The duo weren’t prepared to throw it away as they knew the game was far from over with the whole of the 5th day still to go.

Sri Lanka would eventually end the day on 259/3, trailing New Zealand only by 37 runs as Mathews remained unbeaten on 117* while Mendis was not out on 116*.









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Full Scorecard

Sri Lanka

282/10 & 287/3

(115 overs)

Result

New Zealand

578/10 & 0/0

(0 overs)

Sri Lanka’s 1st Innings

Batting R B
Danushka Gunathilaka lbw by T Southee 1 9
Dimuth Karunarathne c BJ Watling b N Wagner 79 144
Dhananjaya de Silva c BJ Watling b T Southee 1 7
Kusal Mendis c A Patel b T Southee 2 4
Angelo Mathews c BJ Watling b T Southee 83 153
Dinesh Chandimal c A Patel b T Southee 6 34
Niroshan Dickwella not out 80 101
Dilruwan Perera c BJ Watling b de Grandhomme 16 38
Suranga Lakmal c H Nicholls b N Wagner 3 12
Kasun Rajitha c BJ Watling b T Boult 2 32
Lahiru Kumara c de Grandhomme b T Southee 0 8
Extras
9 (lb 7, nb 2)
Total
282/10 (90 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
1-5 (D Gunathilaka, 1.6 ov), 2-7 (D De Silva, 3.2 ov), 3-9 (K Mendis, 3.6 ov), 4-142 (D Karunarathne, 46.3 ov), 5-167 (D Chandimal, 57.2 ov), 6-187 (A Mathews, 59.3 ov), 7-223 (D Perera, 69.5 ov), 8-240 (S Lakmal, 74.2 ov), 9-275 (K Rajitha, 86.6 ov), 10-282 (L Kumara, 89.6 ov)
Bowling O M R W E
Trent Boult 27 6 83 1 3.07
Tim Southee 27 7 68 6 2.52
Colin de Grandhomme 13 2 35 1 2.69
Neil Wagner 20 2 75 2 3.75
Ajaz Patel 3 0 14 0 4.67

New Zealand ‘s 1st Innings

Batting R B
Jeet Raval c N Dickwella b L Kumara 43 70
Tom Latham not out 264 489
Kane Williamson c K Rajitha b D De Silva 91 93
Ross Taylor c D Karunarathne b L Kumara 50 88
Henry Nicholls c K Rajitha b D Perera 50 101
BJ Watling c N Dickwella b L Kumara 0 6
C de Grandhomme c K Rajitha b D De Silva 49 53
Tim Southee (runout) D Chandimal 6 14
Neil Wagner c D De Silva b S Lakmal 0 6
Ajaz Patel b D Perera 6 21
Trent Boult c N Dickwella b L Kumara 11 6
Extras
8 (lb 5, w 1, nb 2)
Total
578/10 (157.3 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
1-59 (J Raval, 22.6 ov), 2-221 (K Williamson, 59.3 ov), 3-312 (R Taylor, 84.4 ov), 4-426 (H Nicholls, 122.5 ov), 5-426 (BJ Watling, 123.6 ov), 6-499 (de Grandhomme, 138.6 ov), 7-520 (T Southee, 144.6 ov), 8-520 (N Wagner, 145.6 ov), 9-549 (A Patel, 154.5 ov), 10-578 (T Boult, 157.3 ov)
Bowling O M R W E
Suranga Lakmal 31 6 88 1 2.84
Kasun Rajitha 34 5 144 0 4.24
Angelo Mathews 4 3 1 0 0.25
Dilruwan Perera 40 1 156 2 3.90
Lahiru Kumara 31.3 2 127 4 4.06
Dhananjaya de Silva 15 0 54 2 3.60
Danushka Gunathilaka 2 1 3 0 1.50

Sri Lanka’s 2nd Innings

Batting R B
Danushka Gunathilaka lbw by T Boult 3 17
Dimuth Karunarathne c T Boult b T Southee 10 13
Dhananjaya de Silva b T Southee 0 5
Kusal Mendis not out 141 335
Angelo Mathews not out 120 323
Extras
13 (lb 2, w 8, nb 3)
Total
287/3 (115 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
1-5 (D Gunathilaka, 3.3 ov), 2-10 (D De Silva, 4.5 ov), 3-13 (D Karunarathne, 6.2 ov)
Bowling O M R W E
Tim Southee 25 8 52 2 2.08
Trent Boult 25 4 62 1 2.48
Neil Wagner 23 4 100 0 4.35
Colin de Grandhomme 13 4 24 0 1.85
Ajaz Patel 28 10 46 0 1.64
Jeet Raval 1 0 1 0 1.00

New Zealand ‘s 2nd Innings

Batting R B
Extras
Total
0/0 (0 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
Bowling O M R W E