1st Test, Christchurch, March 09 – 13, 2023, Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand
New Zealand’s Christchurch heist, starring Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell Sri Lanka put up a valiant fight under the lights, headed by Asitha Fernando, but it all came down to a scrambling bye off the final ball.
New Zealand 373 (Mitchell 102, Henry 72, Asitha 4-85) and 285 for 8 (Williamson 121*, Mitchell 81, Asitha 3-63) beat Sri Lanka 355 (Mendis 87, Karunaratne 50, Southee 5-64, Henry 4-80) and 302 (Mathews 115, Tickner 4-100) by two wickets
New Zealand won the first Test at Hagley Oval by defeating Sri Lanka by two wickets in yet another nail-biting Test match finale. This was New Zealand’s second straight victory on the last ball. The day’s hero was Kane Williamson, who finished unbeaten on 121. Nevertheless, it was his 142-run partnership with Daryl Mitchell that put an end to the chase on a day that had started off literally poorly when rain washed out portions of the first one and a half sessions of play.
It meant Sri Lanka had the same amount of time to take the nine remaining New Zealand wickets and maintain their chances of making it to the World Test Championship final while New Zealand was left having to score the remaining 257 runs in 52 overs.
Throughout the course of the following three and a half hour mega-session, the tension gradually increased and culminated in a crescendo of anarchy.
But before we do that, here are some things that, in no particular order, the history books might not include about this match:
- After a direct hit on the last ball of the day, Williamson managed to win by a foot.
- Neil Wagner drove to the danger end for the winning single on his 37th birthday, despite having a bulging disc in his back that had prevented him from bowling for the whole of the second innings.
- Wagner was dismissed after Niroshan Dickwella dropped Williamson for 33 and missed the stumps, but Asitha Fernando caught the ball and scored a direct hit with Williamson just about home.
- This was the same Asitha whose three-wicket haul in the final hour almost singlehandedly dragged Sri Lanka back into the Test
- The entirety of India presumably celebrating more than the Kiwis at the ground, as the result means their team instead of Sri Lanka qualifies for the World Test Championship final
SL vs NZ: How Kane Williamson Booked India’s Spot In WTC Finals
New Zealand needed 1 run off the last ball against Sri Lanka to win the match and Kane Williamson somehow managed to take the single
Team India, led by Rohit Sharma, has earned a spot in the World Test Championship finals, where they will face off against the powerful Australians starting on June 7. With a victory over India in the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Australia secured their place. When Kane Williamson’s New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka in the first Test at Christchurch on Monday, India was the favourite to go to the WTC Finals, but Sri Lanka was also in contention (March 13).
The last day of the Test match appeared to end in a tie for Sri Lanka and New Zealand after 37 overs were lost to rain. But flamboyant Kiwi captain Kane Williamson’s century gave his team the win and guaranteed India a berth in the WTC finals. In a game that came down to the wire, New Zealand needed to score 257 runs in 53 overs. Williamson managed to score the one run that was required to give New Zealand the victory on the last ball.
Williamson and Neil Wagner opted for a single despite Asitha Fernando’s excellent bouncer, which had the desired effect of making Williamson miss the ball for Sri Lanka. While Williamson reached it to his crease just in time to avoid the ball hitting the stumps, the third umpire ruled that Dickwella’s toss was on the stumps. New Zealand seized a 1-0 series lead, and thousands of miles away, Indian supporters also praised the Black Caps’ triumph.