New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka by two wickets in a thrilling opening Test at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch, with former BlackCaps skipper Kane Williamson leading the way. The Kiwis had a daunting task on the final day, needing to chase down 257 runs with nine wickets in hand, but rain delayed play for 37 overs.
Once play resumed, New Zealand lost Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls early, putting them under pressure. Williamson then joined forces with Daryl Mitchell, and the pair shared a crucial 142-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Mitchell scored a quickfire 81 off 86 balls before being dismissed.
Mitchell’s wicket triggered a small collapse, but Williamson held his nerve and took the game to the last over, with New Zealand needing eight runs off six balls. Matt Henry was run out on the third ball, leaving five runs required off the last three deliveries.
Williamson produced a boundary on the fourth ball of the over, leaving them needing one run to win off two balls. On the last ball bowled by Asitha Fernando, Williamson took a diving single, securing victory for New Zealand.
Williamson remained unbeaten on 121 off 194 balls, including 11 fours and 1 six.
The win was an important one for New Zealand, who were pushed to their limits by a spirited Sri Lankan side. The match showcased the talents of Williamson, who once again proved his worth as one of the best batsmen in the world. The game was a thrilling contest that kept fans on the edge of their seats until the very last ball.
Here’s the video:
BLACKCAPS WIN BY 2 WICKETS!
Catch all the action on-demand on Spark Sport #SparkSport #NZvSL pic.twitter.com/aYg6cpyLLy
— Spark Sport (@sparknzsport) March 13, 2023
The result will give the home team a lot of confidence going into the second Test, which will be played at the Basin Reserve in Wellington from Friday, March 17. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will be looking to bounce back and level the series. The match was a great advertisement for Test cricket, with both teams playing hard and producing a highly entertaining contest.