Even though Sri Lanka’s lower order fought hard, Tim Southee and Blair Tickner each took three wickets to help bowl out the visitors for 358. This helped New Zealand win the second Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Monday by an innings and 58 runs. With the win, the home team also won the two-match Test series, making the score 2-0.
The visitors were asked to bat again after their first innings ended with 164 runs. This was in response to New Zealand’s 580 runs for four wickets. For most of the first two sessions, they put up a strong fight, led by Dhananjaya de Silva’s 98 and helped by Dinesh Chandimal’s 62 and Nishan Madushka’s 39. But on either side of those two partnerships, for the fifth and sixth wickets, the hosts caused the other team to lose all of its wickets.
They got a wicket in the first over of the day when Kusal Mendis pulled a ball from Matt Henry too early and it went to mid-wicket instead of adding to the score from the night before. The short-ball strategy, which helped them win early in the day, was used a lot by the New Zealanders for the rest of the day, especially by Blair Tickner, who filled in for Neil Wagner in that role.
Angelo Matthews, the other overnight batter, was out in the fourth over of the day. He was out because he pulled Tickner to square leg. Even though Sri Lanka lost two wickets early in the day, Chandimal and Dhananjaya kept going on the attack, taking on the short-pitched attack. In a high-scoring session in which Sri Lanka scored 136 runs, the two put together a 126-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
The two batters always went after the ball, which made it easier for them to quickly take advantage of loose pitches. But late in the morning session, Chandimal fell for the trick when he top-edged a pull ball from Tickner to the fielder at fine leg.
On her first ball, Madushka went down the track against Michael Bracewell and hit the offspinner for a six in the last over before Lunch. On the next pitch, he tried to drive it, but the dip fooled him, and he hit it just short of the fielder. The approach after lunch, on the other hand, was pretty careful. Matt Henry and Tim Southee put the batters to the test with the moving new ball. But, other than a few leg before appeals and a few balls that hit the bat, they didn’t face much of a threat.
With a 76-run partnership for the sixth wicket, they kept chipping away at the deficit slowly. Madushka was the last one to go, getting caught at mid on when he tried to pull against Tickner for the third time and was again out.
When Dhananjaya was out in the second over after tea, Sri Lanka’s chances of making up the difference dropped by a lot. He was trying to sweep Michael Bracewell, but he got a top edge to the fielder at short leg. After that, the lower order only put off what was going to happen anyway. From then on, they kept the New Zealand bowlers away for almost two and a half hours, letting them take the last three wickets. Southee took two of those wickets.
Kasun Rajitha and Prabath Jayasuriya and Lahiru Kumara, who each added 45 balls, played a total of 110 balls. Soon after play was extended for the day, Rajitha was caught at second slip when he poked at a delivery that was going away from him. This ended Sri Lanka’s innings.
Briefly, Sri Lanka lost to New Zealand 580/4 decl. (Kane Williamson 215, Henry Nicholls 200*; Kasun Rajitha 2-126) by an innings and 58 runs.