Tests: New Zealand 2 Sri Lanka 0, ODIs: New Zealand 3 Sri Lanka 0

The Sri Lankans in Australia and New Zealand, 1982-83

As part of an ambitious five-month programme, aimed at widening their experience and culminating with the Prudential World Cup in England in June 1983, Sri Lanka arranged a seven-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, their first to either country. They played two three-day first-class matches and three non first-class matches in Australia, followed by nine matches in New Zealand, including two Tests and three one-day internationals.

In Australia they drew with New South Wales, in poor weather, and also with Tasmania, holding their own quite well in both matches. In New Zealand their lack of success was attributable in equal measure to inexperience and misfortune, as well as to a lack of any fast, as distinct from medium-paced, bowling. Their only victory came in a limited-overs match at New Plymouth against a New Zealand Minor Associations XI. They lost the one-day international series three-nil, and were heavily defeated in both Test matches.

As usual, the pitches in New Zealand allowed seam bowlers to move the ball about, and the Sri Lankans showed a fatal fascination for the ball leaving the bat. In the two Tests, something like 70 per cent of the wickets which fell to the New Zealand bowlers went to catches at the wicket, in the slips or at gully. The New Zealand wicket-keeper, Warren Lees, was able to break a New Zealand Test record by taking eight catches at Wellington, five of them in Sri Lanka's second innings.

There was evidence of inexperience, too, in Sri Lanka's performance in the field. In both Tests the tourists won promising positions before letting them slip through a lack of sustained application. For all that, they made a good impression with their positive methods, lively over-rates and friendly ways. Only once did they fall from grace, when, in the second Test match, a bat-pad catch appeal was turned down and they were demonstrative in their displeasure. The manager, Mr Abu Fuard, chose this moment to express concern with the umpiring in forthright terms. It was the only sour note during a short but pleasant tour.

The Sri Lankans were very unlucky to lose Duleep Mendis in the opening match. He broke a finger in the game with Canterbury and played again, even then with difficulty, only in the two one-day internationals with which the tour ended. Their other leading batsman, Roy Dias, was hurt while fielding at Wanganui - in only the third fixture - and did not play again on the tour. It was also unfortunate for the tourists that their veteran leg-spinner, Somachandra de Silva, never found a pitch which allowed him to give full expression to his talents.

Among the batsmen none made a better impression than Ranjan Madugalle, whose free stroke-making was delightful: he had a tour average of 39.20. Ashantha de Mel, a good medium-paced bowler, was another whose tour was restricted by injury, but Vinodhan John bowled with skill and spirit. The star fieldsman was Yohan Gunasekera, whose catching in the gully was outstanding.

New Zealand's clean sweep against Sri Lanka, following three successive victories over England in one-day internationals, afforded them an unprecedented run of success. Although there had been tremendous public interest in the games with England, dismal weather contributed towards substantial financial loss on the Sri Lankans' visit

Match reports for

1st ODI: New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Dunedin, Mar 2, 1983
Report | Scorecard

1st Test: New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Christchurch, Mar 4-6, 1983
Report | Scorecard

2nd Test: New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Wellington, Mar 11-15, 1983
Report | Scorecard

2nd ODI: New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Napier, Mar 19, 1983
Report | Scorecard

3rd ODI: New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Auckland, Mar 20, 1983
Report | Scorecard

Match reports for

Zimbabwe Country Districts v Sri Lankans at Harare, Oct 28, 1982
Scorecard

1st unofficial ODI: Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka at Harare, Oct 30, 1982
Scorecard

2nd unofficial ODI: Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka at Harare, Oct 31, 1982
Scorecard

Zimbabwe Select XI v Sri Lankans at Mutare, Nov 3, 1982
Scorecard

1st unofficial Test: Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka at Bulawayo, Nov 5-8, 1982
Scorecard

Zimbabwe Select XI v Sri Lankans at Triangle, Nov 10, 1982
Scorecard

2nd unofficial Test: Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka at Harare, Nov 12-14, 1982
Scorecard

© John Wisden & Co