New Zealand triumph in windy Wellington, sweep series 2-0

March 21, 2023 5:28 am

[Source: NZ Cricket/Twitter]

New Zealand completed an innings and 58-run victory over Sri Lanka in the second test in blustery Wellington on Monday to sweep the series 2-0 as the South Asian side’s resistance finally broke late on day four.

Having been asked to follow on, Sri Lanka needed 416 runs to make the hosts bat again but were bowled out for 358 in their second innings at the Basin Reserve to the relief of Tim Southee’s side.

“Tomorrow’s weather wasn’t looking flash,” Southee told reporters of a rainy day five forecast.

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“The guys were a bit heavy in the legs but we’re very pleased to have it wrapped up with a day to spare.”

The inaugural World Test Championship holders, New Zealand’s title defence ended long before but they finished the cycle on a high with three straight wins, including a pair of absolute thrillers against England in Wellington and the series-opener in Christchurch.

It was no coincidence that talisman Kane Williamson was key in all three wins.

New Zealand’s finest batter was named Man of the Series, having scored 215 in Wellington after steering the Black Caps home with an unbeaten century in the final-ball win in Christchurch.

Henry Nicholls was Man of the Match in Wellington for his unbeaten 200 as New Zealand piled on 580 for four in their declared first innings after Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and elected to field.

Sri Lanka’s hopes of a first win in the country since 2006 all but ended when their batters managed only 164 in reply.

Yet they showed pride and grit to frustrate New Zealand on a day four blighted by severe wind gusts.

A stiff northerly was so strong that the host broadcaster stood a camera crew down for safety, leaving footage from only one end of the pitch.