About the Match
Winning the first test match against Sri Lanka by a whopping 122 runs, hosts New Zealand have taken a 1-0 lead in the 2-match test series; they will now take on each other in the 2nd test match at Hamilton on 18th December. Sri Lanka chose to field first and the bowlers did a good job taking regular wickets and getting the Kiwis all-out for 431 runs in the first innings but the batsmen fell short to build a good foundation and chase successfully. With the home advantage to their side, New Zealand will try to win the next match and take the series and as for the beginning, the Kiwis have already prepared the green top for quick bowlers to feast on. On the other hand, the Lankans will be eager to do better here and draw level.
Martin Guptill’s astounding 156 runs powered their first innings to 431; Williamson and Brendon McCullum also contributed well with the bat as they scored 88 and 75 runs respectively. In the 2nd innings, although they couldn’t build strong partnerships, Latham’s brilliant century and a good knock of 71 runs by Williamson helped them amass 267 runs, putting up a massive 405 runs target for the opponent.
While the batsmen did incredibly well, it was the bowlers who kept the pressure on the visitors, taking regular wickets throughout the match, and helped them win the match by 122 runs. Tim Southee took 6 wickets in total while stifling the opposition in their run-flow; Neil Wagner took 5 wickets, supporting Southee in both innings while Santner and Boult provided regular breakthroughs to help their team win the match.
Overall, they have performed very well in all departments of the game; with the home advantage, the Kiwis will leave no stone unturned to win the upcoming match and take the series here.
Nuwan Pradeep showed a lot of promise as he took 4-112 in 29 overs in the first innings; along with Chameera and Lakmal, who took 2 wickets each, they restricted the hosts to 431 runs. However, the batsmen fell short in both innings, losing quick wickets and getting all-out for 294 runs in the first innings; they had a huge target of 405 runs in the 2nd innings and the batting line-up crumbled under pressure.
Karunaratne and Chandimal scored 80+ runs in the first innings to try and build the momentum; Chandimal came back in the 2nd innings to be the highest scorer for the team with a well-made 58 off 132 deliveries. Mendis and Vithange did their best to keep the scoreboard ticking but the others fell like a pack of cards and they could muster only 282 runs after getting all-out in 96 overs.
While they have good bowling options with players like Pradeep, Lakmal, Chameera and Herath, they need to be backed up by the batsmen, who need to pull up their socks if they want to defeat New Zealand in their own backyard.
While Sri Lanka has good resources and young talent, who will be eager to grab this opportunity to do well for their team, we feel that New Zealand, which has performed better than the visitors in all departments of the game, is better placed to win the second test match and the series