At Wellington, March 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. New Zealand won by six wickets. Although there was some play on each of the five days, the match lasted for only a little over eighteen hours. When it started at 4.45 on the first day, after rain, only some 200 people were in attendance. Sent in, Sri Lanka were 34 for two at the close and slumped to 48 for four on the second morning. Then came a splendid stand of 130 between Madugalle and De Silva. Madugalle played many graceful attacking strokes and this time the adhesive De Silva saw it out for 226 minutes. Later there was some handsome driving by the tall left-hander, Ratnayeke.
In reply to Sri Lanka's 240, New Zealand, at 169 for nine, were on the run, but again the visitors lost their advantage. On a pitch which favoured seam bowling, John was most effective. Crowe, in his second Test, stayed for two hours, and Howarth for three hours and a quarter, but John and Ratnayake enjoyed consistent success. In the end, though, Sri Lanka's fielding, then their batting, let them down. Towards the end of New Zealand's first innings Hadlee, dropped when 0, scored a brisk 30, and Cairns, also missed before scoring, hit 45 in 50 balls, adding 32 for the last wicket with Chatfield. So New Zealand's deficit was reduced to 39. Early in their innings Wright's nose had been broken by a bouncer from Ratnayake, although he returned later to hit 4 more runs, enough to take his Test aggregate past 1,000.
Batting again, Sri Lanka failed to handle a difficult situation. There was occasional lift in the pitch and regular movement off the seam, and the batsmen chased the wide ball with fatal results, five of them falling to catches at the wicket. Left with only 133 to win, New Zealand were 62 for the loss of Turner at the end of the fourth day. On the last morning Sri Lanka took two more consolation wickets before Hadlee won the match, 48 minutes before lunch, with a huge 6 off Ratnayeke.