'King' Williamson seals 2-0 series sweep
New Zealand 237 (Guptill 50, Chameera 5-47) and 189 for 5 (Williamson 108*, Chameera 4-68) beat Sri Lanka 292 (Mathews 77, Siriwardana 62, Southee 3-63) and 133 (Mendis 46, Southee 4-26, Wagner 3-40) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Two balls into the day and every question that hung over the Hamilton Test was given an answer. New Zealand would win it, and the series as well, to equal their longest undefeated home streak in Tests. Kane Williamson would get his century, finish unbeaten and secure the most Test runs by a batsman from his country in a calendar year.
The one from whom he took that record, Brendon McCullum, said "it was an innings of sheer class from the king." The ICC seemed to agree, as half an hour later, Williamson became the No. 1-ranked batsman in Test cricket moving past AB de Villiers.
New Zealand needed 47 runs. Sri Lanka needed five wickets. The game was still in the balance when day four commenced. But its eventual outcome became clear when Williamson met a short ball from Dushmantha Chameera and addressed it to the long-leg boundary with the gentlest little pull.
Sri Lanka's fastest bowler may have been on show and balls dug in had hurried almost every other batsman on a pacy Seddon Park pitch, but everything happened in slow motion for Williamson, as if he had discovered the secret to manipulate space-time. His 108 came off only 164 balls. It was his fifth century in 2015, another New Zealand record, and 13th overall. If he keeps that rate up in 2016 he could break Martin Crowe's New Zealand record of 17 Test centuries. Crowe took 12 years to get there, Williamson is only in his fifth.
Sri Lanka's challenge this morning did not seem the most potent. Angelo Mathews often had only one slip, and a gully as an afterthought, even to a brand new batsman in BJ Watling. New Zealand found singles with relative ease and Williamson pierced gaps as he pleased. He got to his ton by steering another short ball to the long-leg boundary, and went past McCullum's 1164 runs in 2014. Five overs later, he was walking back having helped his team to 13 matches at home without a defeat, a streak stretching back to March 2012.
Sri Lanka had much to rue at the end of it all. A fine counterattack to score the biggest total of the match in the first day, a first-innings lead of 55, a strong opening stand thereafter, not to mention Chameera's wholehearted effort - 9 for 115 in the match. Everything looked good for their chances of victory, and a drawn series in overseas conditions.
Then their batting collapsed - 10 wickets for 62 runs in 13.5 overs. There was no recovery from that. So they have to settle for two wins and 10 losses in New Zealand from 17 tries since 1983. Only Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have fared worse.
Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo