New Zealand smashed Sri Lanka by 423 runs in the second Test at Christchurch to record the eighth largest runs-margin victory in Test history while securing a 1-0 series win.
Sri Lanka simply had no resistance left in them after a draining two-Test series which saw their bowlers chase serious leather and their batters struggle to blocks out days at a time in the hopes of avoiding defeat in both Tests.
With an impossible 429 runs still required for victory, Sri Lanka mustered just five more runs for the loss of their last four wickets. Suranga Lakmal fell in the first over after adding two runs off the second ball of the day, Trent Boult bowling him with an inswing delivery that the batter chopped onto his stumps.
Competition was rife for the Player of the Match award, but it was Tim Southee who went home with the accolade.
Southee scored a crucial 68 in the first innings and took five wickets in the match as well as some breathtaking catches in the slips. A true all-round performance. pic.twitter.com/DYOIe3XjbQ
— ICC (@ICC) December 29, 2018
Neil Wagner accounted for the wicket of Dilruwan Perera off the second ball of the next over, with Boult ending the innings by trapping Lahiru Kumara leg before off the second ball of the third over. With an impossible task still ahead of Sri Lanka, there was no point for the injured Angelo Mathews to risk aggravating his hamstring injury further (he has been ruled out of the rest of the tour), so the Sri Lanka innings closed after losing nine wickets for 236 runs.
READ ALSO: Boult hits Sri Lankan tail for six
Wagner’s 4-48 was a tremendous effort (econ 1.65), as was Boult’s 3-77 (he recorded match figures of 9-107) as Sri Lanka were blown away with bat and ball by the high-riding Black Caps, who will likely slip ahead of South Africa on the ICC Test rankings … until the end of the current South Africa-Pakistan Test series, that is.
‘Every time you win a Test match, it’s a great feeling,’ said Player of the Match Tim Southee. ‘It was obviously nice to get some runs, all the tailenders work hard on their batting. It’s going to be a big summer here and it was great to be part of a series win.’
The win was the largest Test victory in New Zealand history and sealed their fourth series win in a row, although captain Kane Williamson reiterated that they will keep taking things ‘one game at a time, one day at a time. After the last Test, we wanted to play a little bit better, to show a fighting quality that Sri Lanka showed in the first Test. A couple of brilliant contributions from those two local boys. After the first session yesterday, there were signs of a deja vu. Unfortunate for Angelo to get injured but that opened up one end for us. But it’s exciting, the four series wins on the trot is a proud achievement.’
READ ALSO: 14 wickets tumble as NZ fight back
‘The way we batted in the first innings in both Test matches was disappointing,’ admitted Sri Lanka’s captain, Dinesh Chandimal, adding that he was pleased to see a better performance in the second innings. ‘Suranga did a really good job, overall the seamers have done a decent job. We have Australia and South Africa coming up. If we can compete with them and win, it’ll be good for our confidence.’
Based on their recent performances, however, it would seem like Sri Lanka are in for a torrid few months in the Test arena
BIGGEST TEST WINS BY RUNS
|England||675 runs||Australia||Brisbane||30 Nov 1928|
|Australia||562 runs||England||The Oval||18 Aug 1934|
|Australia||530 runs||South Africa||Melbourne||17 Feb 1911|
|South Africa||492 runs||Australia||Johannesburg||30 Mar 2018|
|Australia||491 runs||Pakistan||Perth||16 Dec 2004|
|Sri Lanka||465 runs||Bangladesh||Chittagong||3 Jan 2009|
|West Indies||425 runs||England||Manchester||8 Jul 1976|
|New Zealand||423 runs||Sri Lanka||Christchurch||26 Dec 2018|
Photo: Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images