First Test

SRI LANKA v NEW ZEALAND 1992-93

At Moratuwa, November 27, 28, 29, December 1, 2. Drawn. Toss: Sri Lanka. Test debuts: C. Z. Harris, M. B. Owens, J. T. C. Vaughan.

A necessarily makeshift New Zealand line-up, playing their first first-class cricket since arriving in Sri Lanka, were relieved to escape with a draw. They had selected three new caps - Chris Harris, son of Test player P. G. Z. Harris, Michael Owens and Justin Vaughan. The last two had flown out to replace the players who had returned home after the shock of the bomb in Colombo. Rutherford had been reluctant to remain in Sri Lanka, but showed great maturity and adaptability in scoring only his second Test century and his first since 1987-88. With Harris, who made fifty on debut, he put on 151, to steer their team out of trouble after Ranatunga asked them to bat and they lost four wickets on a rain-shortened first day. Crowe caused consternation in the Sri Lankan camp when he suggested to umpire Francis that Warnaweera was throwing his off-cutters rather than bowling them. Francis was not swayed, pointing out that Warnaweera had toured India and New Zealand without being called. Soon afterwards Crowe fell to a diving catch as he tried to hit Warnaweera through mid-wicket. But he had more pressing problems when Sri Lanka batted. He admitted that it had been a mistake to omit his spinners, Haslam and Bradburn, and New Zealand's fielding was still short of its best. Crowe himself dropped Mahanama twice, and the Sri Lankan opener went on to his maiden Test century in his 15th match, converting it to 153 before he was run out. Meanwhile De Silva provided the pyrotechnics in a rapid 62.

Ranatunga declared early on the fourth day with a lead of 39. New Zealand battled meticulously to finish on 104 without loss; when 25, Wright, called up to extend his Test career in the crisis after the bomb, became the first New Zealander to score 5,000 Test runs. His opening partner, Hartland, regaining his confidence after being omitted in Zimbabwe, reached his maiden Test fifty. On the last day New Zealand eked out another 91 runs while losing five wickets, their cause assisted by rain which ended play early. Only Rutherford, who hit 53 from 62 balls, including nine fours and two sixes, showed much aggression in keeping Sri Lanka at bay.

Man of the Match: R. S. Mahanama.

Close of play: First day, New Zealand 139-4 (K. R. Rutherford 46*, C. Z. Harris 11*); Second day, Sri Lanka 10-0 (R. S. Mahanama 3*, U. C. Hathurusinghe 0*); Third day, Sri Lanka 299-4 (H. P. Tillekeratne 0*, A. Ranatunga 0*); Fourth day, New Zealand 104-0 (B. R. Hartland 50*, J. G. Wright 38*).

© John Wisden & Co