It took until the final thirty minutes of the final session on the fourth day, and a marathon 142 overs in the field – over 200 if you count the overs in the first innings Sri Lanka followed on from – but New Zealand eventually broke through Sri Lanka’s defiant rearguard to secure an innings-and-58-run victory in the second Test at Wellington, and with it a deserved 2-0 series win.
Henry Nicholls was Player of the Match for his unbeaten double-hundred, while Kane Williamson was named the Player of the Series for his match-winning century in the first Test and then his game-defining double-ton in the second. And if you ever needed a marker for New Zealand’s dominance in Wellington, just take in the fact that Sri Lanka’s total of 358 in their second innings was still five runs short of the mammoth 363-run stand between Williamson and Nicholls.
But shifting from the exemplary to the inexplicable, the final day of this hard-fought series was marked by batting of a much poorer variety. Indeed, if day three consisted of rookie mistakes, then day four could only be categorised as an extended amateur hour, with it eventually left to Kasun Rajitha and his fellow tailenders to attempt to drag the game to an improbable day five.
Rajitha, who was the last man dismissed, eventually lasted 148 minutes out in the middle, during which he faced a 110 deliveries – longer than any of Sri Lanka’s other batters had fared barring Dhananjaya de Silva. —INP