Wed, 07 Jun 2023

Wellington [New Zealand], March 20 (ANI): Double centuries from Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls and top spells from Blair Tickner, Michael Bracewell and Tim Southee helped an all-round New Zealand crush Sri Lanka by an innings and 58 runs in the second Test of the two-match series in Wellington on Monday.

With this, New Zealand won the series 2-0.

Sri Lanka started the fourth day of the match at 113/2, with Kusal Mendis (50) and Angelo Matthews (1) unbeaten at the crease.

There were some positives for the island nation on Monday, with Dhananjaya de Silva (98), Dinesh Chandimal (62), Nishan Madushka (39) and Kasun Rajitha (20) frustrating New Zealand and making it hard for the hosts to take wickets. Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and Mendis also notched the fifties.

But skipper Tim Southee (3/51), Blair Tickner (3/84) and Michael Bracewell (2/100) and Southee dug deep to ensure the Kiwis finished the series and the World Test Championship period on a high.

SL was bundled out for just 358 runs and lost the match by an inning and 48 runs.

Earlier, Sri Lanka was forced to follow on after being bundled out for just 164 in their first innings. Dimuth Karunaratne (89) was pretty much a one-man army with his half-century. Dinesh Chandimal (37) also played a crucial knock.

Matt Henry (3/44) and Michael Bracewell (3/50) shined with the ball for Kiwis, unleashing heavy damage on the visitors. Southee, Doug Bracewell and Tim Southee took a wicket each. This helped NZ gain a 416-run lead over Sri Lanka.

In their first innings, New Zealand declared at 580/4. Kane Williamson (215) and Nicholls (200) powered Kiwis to such a huge total with double centuries. This was Kane's sixth double ton while Nicholls scored his maiden ton. Devon Conway also continued his consistent show across the format, with a brilliant knock of 78.

Kasun Rajitha (2/126) was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka.

Nicholls was adjudged as 'Man of the Match' for his double ton. Williamson got the 'Player of the Series' award for scoring 337 runs in three innings with two tons.

The standings have been finalised for the 2021-23 ICC World Test Championship period, with June's final at The Oval between Australia and India the only match remaining.

The current ICC World Test Championship period has ended, following the completion of the second Test between New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

The triumph helped New Zealand jump from eighth to sixth on the World Test Championship standings, with Pakistan (7th) and West Indies (8th) each dropping a place following the final Test of the period.

There is of course still the World Test Championship final ahead, with Australia and India scheduled to do battle in the one-off Test at The Oval in London at the start of June after they finished in the top two positions on the standings.

South Africa finished in third place and narrowly behind India in second, while England rise to fourth and in front of Sri Lanka following the Asian nation's 2-0 series loss to New Zealand.

Sri Lanka could have qualified for the final with a 2-0 series sweep over New Zealand, but a narrow loss in the first match of the series and a disappointing effort in the second Test saw them drop to fifth on the standings. Bangladesh finished at the bottom of the table.

Brief Scores: New Zealand: 580/4 declared (Kane Williamson 215, Henry Nicholls 200, Kasun Rajitha 2/126) won against Sri Lanka: 164 and 358 (Dhananjaya de Silva 98, Dinesh Chandimal 62, Tim Southee 3/51). (ANI)

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