eased gently to silly point
3.56pm Play has been officially called off. Test drawn. What a turnaround it has been in the end. Sri Lanka were helped by the rain on the last day, but nothing can take away from the stellar effort of Mathews and Mendis, which played a huge part in hanging onto a draw. Nevermind how the surface played. After having spent as much time as they did at the crease and then being three down, it needed a Herculean effort for them to make something of this Test, and they got that from Mathews and Mendis.
But don't forget the splendid innings of Tom Latham, who put together a magnum opus - 264 unbeaten runs carrying his bat through the New Zealand innings. It was a clinic in Test match batting - embodying all the attributes that make a Test innings what it is. Patience early on, seeing off the new ball, superb judgment outside off, and then once the attack wore down, he began picking up pace. For that, he is the Man of the Match. "It was nice to be able to spend time in the middle," he says. "We'll get a couple of days off. We will re-energise and then reassess and regroup."
"We showed a lot of character throughout the five days," says Dinesh Chandimal "It was not an easy task going out and batting. Angelo has done really well in the last four-five games. Everytime he goes to bat we want some runs from him and he has done really well, even in the first innings, where he and Karunaratne put on a stand, and in the second innings where he and Mendis played superbly. We got two young fast bowlers in this game and only Suranga has the experience. We'll have to learn a lot from this Test. We will look forward to executing that in the next Test."
"The forecast wasn't too good," says Williamson. "Would've been good to pick up a few wickets yesterday. But Sri Lanka were at their best. We'll have positives to take from the match. Certainly the effort was there.. we certainly expected more pace and bounce from the wicket, but it is what it is. It was very patient and disciplined batting from Sri Lanka. It just wasn't to be. it's a shame the weather turned out the way he did. But at the same time, credit to Sri Lanka for the character they showed. It's important we show the same discipline we showed with bat and ball in the first innings."
Right then, that will be a wrap of this Test. It's a shame we couldn't get in more play today, but in the little that we did, Mathews and Mendis soldiered on, further consolidating their epic stand. Several highlights from this Test, which will go down as a memorable one - Latham, Mendis-Mathews, the flatness of the Wellington surface, to name a few. Who knows what more will be in store in Christchurch? Join us then. For now, it's goodbye from myself and Shashank. Thank you for joining us and all your comments.
Neeraj: "Absolutely epic Mendis and Mathews- first time it's happened outside the subcontinent!"
Pranay: "What a fightback from Sri Lanka. Though draw is frustrating, it is well-deserved. It didn't end in draw because of rain but because Mathews and Mendis played all day yesterday."
3.40pm The Blackcaps Twitter says that the covers still on and that the umpires and captains will meet at 4pm to assess conditions.
3.28pm Andrew Fernando tells me that there's no change in Wellington. Still a heavy drizzle, and it could all be called off at 4pm. That's not confirmed as of yet, though.
Tim implores: "Come on, this is getting silly. Just declare a very very very very frustrating draw already. "
2.45pm The rain is light, but it is unfortunately persistent, which means more waiting. But we've had plenty happen around the cricket world over the past 24 hours. India collapsed to lose the Perth Test to Australia by 146 runs. But even as the Indian players sought to shake off the pain of the defeat, several others back home started new chapters. It was IPL auction day. A total of INR 1,06,80,00,000 was spent in Jaipur, and this is how the teams fared at the end.
Faisal Kamal: "Hey Akshay, looking at numbers from Rajesh, can't understand the 4th row that says "Karthik-Jaffer-Dravid-Sachin" 326 runs. " -- Both Wasim Jaffer and Dinesk Karthik retired ill on the opening day because of the Dhaka heat. Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid then batted out the remaining overs as India finished on 326 for no loss. Karthik later returned to bat on the second day and was eventually caught at midwicket.
Yasas SL: "IPL Auction 2019 is all done or is there a another round today? " -- It's done, speaking of which, this year's auction was all about the young 'uns. There were mystery spinners, some overseas sensations, and Indian fast bowlers. But the overriding theme was youth. Who became millionaires? Whose lives changed forever? Who were the overseas hits? And who endured disappointment? Alagappan Muthu captures it beautifully in his wrap of the event.
2pm We're back live, and unfortunately, the rain is steady and persistent. The covers are firmly on as we wait on. Remember, around now is when the worst of the rains were forecast to hit Wellington. Not looking so great at the moment, I'm afraid.
For the little play that has been possible today, Mathews and Mendis have soldiered on. They also collected an assortment of records yesterday, during the course of their alliance. S Rajesh, our stats editor, brings you the numbers.
Jonathan: "Waking up to seeing this partnership still flourishing puts a smile on my face :) Sucks that the rain is cutting it short."
Ali Wazir: "With developments and modernisation in our great sport such as the introduction of Day/Night Tests, DRS, Free Hits and 2 New Balls (in ODIs), isn't it time for the powers that be to come up with a solution to counter the rain, especially in Tests? A full day's play today would more likely than not yield a result. Now it's heading towards a draw..."
1.24pm Spots of rain seen on the TV lens. The umpires converge, and they've decided to walk off for lunch with seven minutes still remaining in the session. I'm afraid this is going to be the flavour of the day. Mathews and Mendis continue to soldier on.
Meanwhile, Trent Boult to boundary photographer: "Are you running out of things to take photos of?"
DS: "To add to Gryllus' sentiment: We also have two back to back ODI games, two days apart, at the Bay Oval; but the only cricket Auckland gets is two T20 games. Why would you bother? "
Gryllus: "So test match number one of the season ruined by a flat pitch. We get just one more, then a seemingly endless series of stupid limited over games, before 3 more tests against Bangladesh in March when Autumn is starting to close in. Jesus wept - why bother with cricket at all?"
drifts in and skids on, defended.
gets well forward and smothers this.
silly point in place
spins away from a length on off, defended
lunges forward and blocks.
defends this shortish delivery into the covers.
driven straight to mid-off
turns this off a length from outside off into the leg side
back of length, this one bends back in from way outside off, left alone
angles one back in on the stumps from wide of the crease, this keeps a touch low, defends.
steers this short of length delivery to point
driven off a thick inside edge to mid-on
shortens his length, he goes back and bunts it
nice and full, smothered.
drifting in from round the stumps, he lunges forward and defends
nice and full, he gets well forward and defends back
drilled back to the bowler.
Huge thick cloud cover overhead now
tossed up on middle, he lunges forward and smothers this
shows the full face of the bat as he blocks.
squirts this off a thick outside edge to gully
|Basin Reserve, Wellington|
|Toss||New Zealand, elected to field first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Series result||2-match series level 0-0|
|Match number||Test no. 2335|
|Hours of play (local time)||11:00 start, Lunch 13.00-13.40, Tea 15.40-16.00, Close 18.00|
|Match days||15,16,17,18 19 December 2018 - day (5-day match)|