Captain Dimuth Karunaratne outstanding knock in the second innings and Lasith Embuldeniya brilliant all-round bowling performance saw Sri Lanka register six-wicket win over New Zealand in Galle on Saturday.
The game started with New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson winning the toss and opting to bat first in decent conditions for batting.His decisions seemed to be good one as New Zealand worked hard for their runs and managed to register 249 all out in 83.2 overs.
It was Ross Taylor’s show all the way as he scored a splendid half-century to guide the team to a modest first-innings total of 249. The 35-year-old finished with 86 off 132 balls with the help of six boundaries.
For Sri Lanka, off-spinner Akila Dhananjaya was the standout bowler and finished with figures of 5 for 80 in 30 overs. Pacer bowler Suranga Lakmal also bowled well with the new-ball and claimed four wickets in the first innings.
In reply, Sri Lanka had to work hard for their runs against disciplined New Zealand bowling attack and were bundled out 267 runs in their first innings, where wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella finished with the top score of 61 off 109 balls with the help of three boundaries.
Kusal Mendis and all-rounder Angelo Matthews also chipped in with half-centuries for Sri Lanka. Dimuth Karunratne and Suranga Lakmal also added crucial runs for the side to help Sri Lanka take a slender lead.
For New Zealand, it was left-arm orthodox spinner Ajaz Patel, who did most of the damage with five wickets to his name. Off-spinner William Somerville also bowled well and picked up three wickets.
In their second innings, New Zealand’s lower-order showed a lot of determination and staged a fightback after the side in a spot of bother at 124 for 6. Captain Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Jeet Raval perished for single digit scores.
Dimuth Karunaratne smashed a splendid century in the chase to help Sri Lanka register six-wicket win to go 1-0 up in two-match series.
Opener Tom Latham produced a crucial innings at the top of the innings. He scored 45 off 81 balls with the help of three fours and a six.
Wicket-keeper BJ Watling was the star of the show for the visitors as he registered a splendid half century and finished with the top score of 77 off 173 balls with the help of six boundaries.
He was well supported by Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Ajaz Patel and William Somerville to help New Zealand score 285 all out in 106 overs, setting Sri Lanka a stiff target of 267 runs to win the match.
For the home side, Left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya and off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva bowled well picked up seven wickets between them.
Chasing 267 runs to win, Captain Dimuth Karunaratne led from the front with the bat and added 161 runs with Lahiru Thiramanne to get Sri Lanka off to a perfect start.
Sri Lanka looked in total control and cruise to a comfortable win on the fourth day, where Karunaratne finished with the top score of 122 off 243 balls with the help of six fours and a six.For the visitors, Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Ajaz Patel claimed one wicket each.