New Zealand in Sri Lanka, 2 Test Series, 2019
Venue: Galle International Stadium, Galle
Date: 14 August-18 August, 2019
RR: 3.11 | Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by 6 wickets
That's all we have from this Test match. The second one starts on 22nd August at the P Sara Oval in Colombo at 1000 local (0430 GMT). Do join us then. Cheers!
Sri Lankan skipper and the MAN OF THE MATCH, Dimuth Karunaratne states that it's not easy chasing in the fourth innings. Emphasizes on the importance of forming a good partnership and this is something he discussed with Lahiru Thirimanne. Tells that once you are set in these conditions you have to make the most of it. Adds that they want to stick to the basics in the next Test match as well. Praises his bowlers for their performance in the first innings. Mentions that once the ball gets softer, it's easier to bat in Galle. Further says that they saw how Taylor and Watling batted on this pitch and their knocks made them believe that it's not too dangerous to bat on.
New Zealand skipper, Kane Williamson starts by saying that at the toss, he would have taken a target of 268 in the fourth innings. Adds that from their past experience they thought the surface will deteriorate but it didn't much. Feels the surface slowed down and it was a good one for batting. Mentions that they have learnt a lot from this game. States that they weren't too far behind Sri Lanka but the hosts had the experience of playing in their backyard which came in handy. Admits that they need to bat and bowl better and concentrate on getting partnerships. On the Test ranking, Kane replies that it's secondary and the quality of cricket is what they focus on. Signs off by saying that this wasn't their best performance and congratulates Sri Lanka for playing really well.
With this defeat, New Zealand's chance of winning the series 2-0 and toppling India from the number one Test position has also vanished. For Sri Lanka, they get 60 points for winning this match and have opened their account in the ICC World Test Championship. Stay with us for the presentation...
This Test match could have been over in a flash had BJ Watling not stepped up for the Black Caps in the second innings. He revived things for the visitors with his brave knock and handy partnerships with the lower order batsmen. With the pitch showing signs of deterioration, a target of 268 was considered to be a tricky one but when your openers raise a 161-run partnership, things become smooth more often than not. Kudos to Karunaratne for his stupendous innings and Sri Lanka were also helped by some ordinary performance by New Zealand in the field.
The result doesn't really show how closely this Test match was fought. The momentum kept swinging like a pendulum and it was Sri Lanka who got the early advantage after Akila Dananjaya's fifer. But Ross Taylor's knock made sure that the Kiwis somehow limped to a respectful first innings total. Then it was the turn of the Lankan batsmen to dominate proceedings although it didn't last for long as courtesy of Ajaz Patel's 5-wicket haul, the visitors only conceded a slender 18-run lead.
A convincing victory for Sri Lanka to go 1-0 up in the series! Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne was the chief architect of this win. His individual century coupled with the 161-run stand with Lahiru Thirimanne has powered the Islanders home. New Zealand were decent with their bowling efforts but were let down by some sloppy fielding. Karunaratne will be a delighted man after winning his first home Test as a captain and also he keeps his 100 percent win record intact.
Common sense has prevailed! Well done. The extra 15 minutes are over but they are staying to finish this match as only 9 more runs are needed. Hang on, extra 15 minutes or 4 overs, that's the rule and it's only 3 so far. Hmm...
Tim Southee is back into the attack.
Dhananjaya de Silva is the new batsman in.
With 22 runs needed more, the umpires have decided to extend the first session by 15 minutes. Usually, it's 30 minutes but since we started 15 minutes early and a morning session cannot be more than 150 minutes, they have done so.
SECOND NEW BALL IS TAKEN! Trent Boult to make first use of it. 27 runs needed more.
Shout for an lbw! Not given by the umpire. New Zealand have reviewed it. Possibly, the impact is outside off. Ultra Edge has found no bat. And the Hawk Eye confirms that the impact is outside off.
Time to trouble the third umpire! Kusal Perera is given out caught at second slip. He has taken the DRS after consulting his partner. Let's find out what happened there in the replays...
William Somerville is back into the attack.
Kusal Perera is the new batsman.
Umbrellas are up! Don't worry, not for the rain but for the sun.
Change of bats for Angelo Mathews. Has he broken it by just blocking? Maybe, he has asked for a blocker, jokes Rameez Raja on air.
Kane Williamson has decided to bowl himself now. A little too late. He is a much better off spinner than he thinks and with two lefties constructing a big opening partnership, his bowling could have been quite handy.
Time for some pace! Tim Southee is into the attack now. A slip and gully in place. There is a short mid-wicket as well in a catching position.
Change of ends for William Somerville. Two slips present for the left-hander.
Drinks break. New Zealand have managed to pick a couple of wickets in the morning session but Sri Lanka have also made steady progress in this run chase. They are now just 75 runs away from the target. The bowling from the Black Caps have been a lot better today but they need to do better with their close-in catching. Let's see how the second half of the first session pans out.
Interesting move! Mitchell Santner replaces William Somerville in the attack. The off spinner was doing good from this end. Maybe, they want to change his ends.
Angelo Mathews walks in next to bat.
Kusal Mendis walks in next with 107 runs needed more for a win.
Huge shout for an lbw! Not given. DRS time! Kane Williamson will have to take it with nothing much happening. The big question here is that has the delivery straightened enough after landing? The Ultra edge has detected nothing but the Hawk Eye is showing that it's hitting leg. New Zealand have the breakthrough they dearly needed.
Here comes William Somerville into the attack. Let's see how he goes about his business this morning. Two slips in place.
As expected, spin from both ends. Ajaz Patel to bowl...
Time to get going! The Kiwi players are taking the field. Out come the two openers for Sri Lanka - Dimuth Karunaratne (71) and Lahiru Thirimanne (57) to resume their innings. 135 more needed for a win. The visitors are beginning with the spin of Mitchell Santner. Early wickets, that's the need of the hour for them. Let's play.
Pitch report - Russel Arnold is nearby the surface and says that it's a Day 5 pitch so it will have a bit of crumbling and dryness. Points out the rough outside the left-hander's off stump. Few cracks in the middle of the pitch but they won't come into play much, Russel adds. Feels that New Zealand need to deceive the batsmen in flight. Suggests them to make the batsmen play in the V rather than letting them score square of the wicket on both sides.
Rameez is now down with William Somerville. The off spinner says that Sri Lanka batted well but at the same time New Zealand created a bit of chance too. On bowling with a round-arm action, Somerville tells that the plan is to put doubts in the batsmen's mind, trying to square them up and get it to spin. Adds that they will try to be a bit quicker through the air today. He is still confident about pulling off a win.
Rameez Raja is conducting an interview with Lahiru Thirimanne. The opener says that the surface is a bit tough to bat but once you get set, it becomes easier. Tells that they wanted to play their natural game. Adds that they will have to start all over again today. Praises Dimuth Karunaratne for the way he batted. He wants to occupy the crease as much as possible. On his Test career, Thirimanne admits that his Test numbers aren't good but he is concentrating on the win at the moment.
Weather - Currently, it is sunny in Galle and there are no signs of rain although there is forecast for showers at some point on Day 5. Let's hope that it stays away and we get to complete this Test match.
Hello and a warm welcome to the last Day of the first Test match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand. After all the rain interruptions, we might have a result in both the ongoing games at the moment, The Ashes and this one. As far as Galle is concerned, the game with all its twists and turns, has shifted in the hosts favour as they require 135 runs and still have ten wickets in hand. Both the openers have fought whatever the visitors have thrown at them and have registered their respective fifties. The Kiwis, on the other hand, have helped the Lankans with their shoddy fielding and some poor bowling. Can they pull up their socks and make a match out of it on the final day?
... Day 5, Session 1 ...
Another 135 runs needed for Sri Lanka to go 1-0 up in the 2-match Test series and also open their account in the ICC World Test Championship. All odds are loaded in their favour but you never know in cricket. This pitch has something to offer for the spinners and the Kiwis would be hoping for one opening to run through the Lankan batting line-up. If not that, there is always rain to spoil someone's chance. Let's hope for an exciting finish on Day 5. Do join us at 0945 local (0415 GMT) for all the action.
Dimuth Karunaratne has batted with supreme confidence and it rubbed off on Lahiru Thirimanne as well after the initial struggle for him. New Zealand bowled decently but without much success in the afternoon session. In the evening, they did manage to create a couple of openings but Latham put down a catch and Watling missed the stumping opportunity, both offered by the Sri Lankan skipper.
The players are going back due to bad light and that will be STUMPS ON DAY 4! We have lost 13 overs today. Anyway, after going through a lot of twists and turns, this Test match has fallen in the bag for Sri Lanka. They were on the back foot in the morning session once New Zealand stretched their lead past the 250-run mark but this outstanding opening partnership has made things pleasantly relaxing for the Islanders.
The umpire is taking the reading of the light! It's round about this time when they left the field on Day 3. It seems that the light is good enough to continue at the moment. Not sure for how long they can continue with a pacer steaming in...
Drinks Break! The opening pair of Sri Lanka continues to pave the way for the chase. The duo of Karunaratne and Thirimanne have played really well and have stitched together a 127-run stand so far. The hosts are now 141 runs away from a historic chase. Don't be mistaken, New Zealand are still in this. If they can find a way to break this stand then they certainly would fancy themselves as they have runs on the board and there is some spin and drift on offer. Not going to be easy for a new batsman.
Trent Boult is on!
After the last over, the umpires have been given the light meters. They will be keeping a close eye on the degrading light.
William Somerville is back.
We are back for the final session. The New Zealand players are in a huddle. Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne will resume their innings. Ajaz Patel will bowl the first over of the final session.
... DAY 4, SESSION 3 ...
Well begun is half done! The Sri Lankan openers have done a tremendous job to see off the entire afternoon session without any casualty. Dimuth Karunaratne not only took care of his innings but also supported Lahiru Thirimanne, who was a bit fidgety at the start. New Zealand bowled decently but weren't too penetrative. Their spinners tried hard but are not getting too much support from the surface. There is turn on offer but it's on the slower side and that has allowed the batsmen time to play. Also, the lines from the Kiwi spinners have been a little too straight. Another 192 runs left to win this Test match and the hosts will be feeling a lot better about themselves. We have 30 overs to go in the day. How will the last session pan out? Do join us in a short while to find out.
Movement! Movement! Movement! No, not for the bowler. We are talking about the movement of the groundsmen. They are sensing something here and are surrounding near the covers. It has gone dark and the forecast is for rain. Let's hope it stays away.
Drinks break! Sri Lanka have started well here in their pursuit of 268. Both Thirimanne and the skipper, Dimuth Karunaratne have looked solid at the crease and they will look to survive till Tea without any loss of wickets. The visitors, on the other hand, have not been poor but their lines have been too straight, resulting in too many easy singles on the leg side. They would look to correct it in the next hour.
Mitchell Santner is introduced into the attack.
Just in - South Africa's Russell Domingo has been appointed as the Bangladesh head coach for a two-year term. He takes over from Steve Rhodes.
Change from both ends. Ajaz Patel is on.
First change of the innings. Spinner on now as William Somerville has the ball in hand.
Tim Southee to bowl from the other end.