Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Wagner paves way to NZ's 122-run victory

Arnold: Kiwi pacers won them the game (4:06)

Russel Arnold joins Andrew Fernando to dissect Sri Lanka's loss to New Zealand in the first Test at Dunedin (4:06)

New Zealand 431 (Guptill 156, Williamson 88, McCullum 75, Pradeep 4-112) and 267 for 3 dec (Latham 109*, Williamson 71) beat Sri Lanka 294 (Karunaratne 84, Chandimal 83) and 282 (Chandimal 58) by 122 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

In conditions where the old ball did nothing and New Zealand's three first-choice quicks produced innocuous medium-pace, Neil Wagner ran in relentlessly with tremendous stamina, sending down a barrage of short deliveries, harrying the batsmen at around 140 kph and broke Sri Lanka's resistance. Until Wagner came on, Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews had been untroubled and scored freely, but once he broke through his one wicket quickly led to many, and New Zealand completed a 122-run victory after lunch on the final day in Dunedin.

Before Brendon McCullum turned to Wagner, Sri Lanka made 45 runs in 15.5 overs, and Mitchell Santner and Doug Bracewell had just begun to control a previously brisk run rate. Wagner immediately resorted to a short-pitched attack from over the wicket - like he had done on the third day - targeting the right-hand batsman's ribs with men catching close on the leg side.

Chandimal had been cover-driving and cutting Trent Boult and Tim Southee, his fierce punishment of anything loose taking him swiftly to a half-century. Mathews had played with softer hands and a straighter bat, batting with calm. Wagner gave them no width, no opportunity to get on the front foot, hustling them with pace, forcing hurried evasive actions and awkward fends off the body.

Wagner's method of attack had become so ingrained in the batsman's psyche that they expected little else from him. And so Mathews, after moving hurriedly towards the off side to let two consecutive short balls whizz past his ribs, began to play the third delivery in a similar manner. Except that this time Wagner bowled a full length. The ball crashed into the inside of his front pad, shot between his legs and flattened middle stump. Mathews had not even played a shot, and was the first Sri Lankan batsman to not be caught in this Test.

Chandimal had to shelve his cavalier approach against Wagner. He had got to 50 off 90 balls - scoring 19 off 26 this morning - but made only eight off his next 41 deliveries. Subdued into a defensive mind-set, he padded up to a ball from the left-arm spinner Santner that went on with the arm, and was adjudged lbw not offering a shot. After a partnership of 56, Mathews and Chandimal had fallen with the score on 165.

Wagner now went around the wicket to aim at the ribs of the two left-handers - Kithuruwan Vithanage and Milinda Siriwardana. He pinned them to the crease with his length, and then bowled a fast full-toss at Siriwardana, who was hit on the back pad as he squared up in his crease. The umpire Nigel Llong gave him lbw but Siriwardana successfully reviewed the decision, replays surprisingly suggesting the ball would have missed off stump, perhaps because Wagner had delivered from extremely wide of the crease.

Wagner was given the second new ball for the last delivery of his first spell, which comprised eight overs at speeds that did not ebb.

Southee took two deliveries to strike with the new ball, swinging it back into Vithanage from over the wicket, hitting the left-hander's pads. Vithanage had played an enterprising innings, a run-a-ball 38 full of shots.

The slide was swift after lunch. Boult struck in the third and fifth over of the second session - drawing an edge from Rangana Herath and having Siriwardana caught at short cover, both batsmen not bothering with defence.

Sri Lanka went down swinging, and were bowled out for 282. However, the fact that an inexperienced batting line-up had lasted 95.2 overs after playing 117.1 in the first innings will be some consolation for a team rebuilding from the retirements of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.

NZ's streak


Last time NZ lost a Test at their home venue - by 9 wkts to SA in Hamilton in March 2012. They are unbeaten since then in 12 consecutive Tests.

SL's 4th inns troubles


Sri Lanka's highest successful run-chase against New Zealand in Tests, in Galle 2012-13 (won by 10 wkts).

Chandimal's double


No. of times Chandimal has scored 50-plus in both inns of a Test, including in this Test. As a wicketkeeper Only Flower (7), Knott (5) and Dhoni (4) have done it more.

Double for the 2nd wkt


No. of previous instances of century stands for the 2nd wkt in both inns of a Test for NZ, before this match - v Eng, Lord's 2004 and v Ban, Chittagong 2013-14.

Another milestone for Kane


No. of 50+ scores for Williamson in International matches this year (43 inns), including this innings - joint-highest with Joe Root (45 inns).

NZ's rare opening double


The last time before this NZ had two fifty-plus stands for their first wicket in a Test - against Pakistan in Napier.

Watling's record


No. of inns where Watling has taken 5 or more catches in Tests, including this. This is now record a for NZ beating McCullum's 4 such hauls

Twin 80s at top


No. of previous instances of 2 of SL's top 4 batsmen getting out in 80s in a Test inns; Karunaratne and Chandimal produce the first such instance for SL.

Huge difference in two days


Run rate on Day 2 of this Test, 219 runs in 87.1 overs. On Day 1, the runs were scored at 4.54 runs per over, 409 in 90 overs.

SL's opening misery


Number of 50-plus opening partnership for Sri Lanka in Tests this year; only West Indies have fewer (0). Lowest for SL in a year since 1995 (0 50-plus stands then)

NZ going strong on day 1


No. of times New Zealand made 400 or more on the opening day of a Test, before this - 452/9 vs Zim, Harare, 2005-06 and 429/7 vs SL, Christchurch, 2014-15.

New Zealand's Permanent


Consecutive Tests played by McCullum for NZ since his debut in March 2004. Equals AB de Villiers' record of most consecutive Tests for a team from debut.