Rajitha fishes and Williamson takes a sharp catch! New Zealand win 2-0 on an overcast Wellington evening! Mitchell and Co are chuffed as they swarm Williamson. Was a back-of-length ball outside off. Rajitha tried to steer it square to try and get a single and retain strike. But Southee was good enough to find the edge. Rajitha and Sri Lanka's resistance ends.
The WTC cycle is done. The series scoresheet shows a 2-0 for New Zealand which does, in many ways, accurately depict the story. But Sri Lanka were much closer, they were on top for a long period in the first game and instead of their cruise hitting an iceberg, it hit a ship in the form of Kane Williamson. He ensured the visitors went winless. Can that turn around in the limited overs internationals? Follow to find out. Till then, it's Ekanth, signing off on behalf of my co-commentators, Madushka Balasuriya and Abhimanyu Bose and our scorer, Chandan Duorah.
Raff: "Been another delightful summer of NZ test cricket. Thanks, Cricinfo, commenters, and NZ's secret weapon: Mac Jean." *Bows to Chapsy*
Tautoru : "KW MOM for me. Great innings and that last catch! " Henry Nicholls has been awarded the POTM award. Williamson is the POTS. The live feed has cut off on the telly. So the quotes from the players will be published in the news and analysis pieces coming up. Check them out here on ESPNcricinfo.
Mark: "SL where still 5 runs short of the Williamson/Nicholls partnership! Well done NZ"
Mustafa Moudi : "As this WTC Cycle comes to an end with this match, I would suggest the no. of matches must remain close (if not exactly the same) for all team. NZ playing just 12 Test in comparison to England's 22 matches doesnt make any sense !!"
Fan: "Rajitha lasted 110 balls and 2.5 hours! That's great for a tailender. Frustrated thr NZ bowlers "
Maddy: "New Zealand wins the windiest test ever(Probably)"
6:30pm: An overtime win for New Zealand. So close yet so far yet again for Sri Lanka. This time it was more conditional as they were relying on tomorrow's play being washed out. Nonetheless, they hung around firmly after toppling in the first innings. Four batters made fifties in the second innings. Many wickets were soft dismissals and fell to short deliveries. Credit to Tickner, who performed Wagner's role in his absence. Sri Lanka's tail wagged, hung and almost crawled back into a branch to call it a night but Bracewell kept plugging away and Southee finished it off.
Krushna: "What is Rajitha's average currently? " Just under seven
Length just outside off, good leave
Length outside off, steered to point
mark: "wouldn't be adverse to see captains penalised for wasting reviews. that on smacked of desperation. one from 23 says it all." Yeah, but the loss of review is punishment enough
Just down leg, goes across and lets it go
RajaSekharreddy: "And if it rains tomorrow without a ball being bowled!" IFFF!
Full at the stumps at 126kph, blocked towards mid-on
Balaji: "Spare a thought for NZ bowlers. They bowled 210 overs straight "
Shoulders arms and the shortish ball comes in and hits around the ribs. Has a chest guard which helps
Scheduled play is done. Overtime is now. The shadows have taken over, the lights have faded but still good enough to continue
Length outside off, left alone
Length around off, blocks it with the straight bat. Goes off the thick outside edge on the bounce to slip
Length ball goes just down leg. Fernando went across and let it go
Length at the stumps, blocked in front
Is that strangled down leg? Not given and Southee reviews! There was a deflection. Replay shows it's off the trouser. Was a shortish ball that Fernando tried to clip fine. Bat was nowhere close to ball. NZ out of reviews. Craig McMillan says they've taken 23 across the summer and have overturned one
And again, slightly fuller maybe. Ducked under again. Two for the over
Bouncer over the head. Ducked under
De Cruz : "These two will remain unbeaten and day's play will be done because of bad light. Then tomorrow one of them will get out first ball. Well, you know. Cricket. " Yep. This will be the last official over. How many overs can they squeeze in? Umps check the light and say it's okay to bowl a quick. Tickner it will be!
Vikas Vadgama: "And with that 9th wicket, I guess NZ can officially get half an hour's extension to complete this match today itself, right??" Yes. Sri Lanka's physio is out to check Fernando's left shoulder
Length outside off at 123kph. Back foot taps across before he lets it go
Stays leg side and does not bother considering playing it after it landed on a back of length. Went over the stumps. Signals for new gloves right after
Balaji: "What are the chances of play being extended today?" 50/50 given there's just one wicket to go
Shortish ball outside off, left alone
Fifteen more minutes before things get dicey, says Craig McMillan on air
Length outside off, left alone
Length outside off, pushed towards cover
Jumps up while staying in the crease. Manages to tap it off the back foot to land the ball within the crease. Was a shortish ball at the body
Fourth umpire runs in with the light meter.
Full on middle at 78kph. Blocked in front
|Basin Reserve, Wellington|
|Toss||Sri Lanka, elected to field first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Player Of The Series|
|Series result||New Zealand won the 2-match series 2-0|
|Match number||Test no. 2500|
|Match days||17,18,19,20 March 2023 - day (5-day match)|
|Points||New Zealand 12, Sri Lanka 0|
Kane Williamson and Mitchell Starc in the top three in ICC rankings
Dimuth Karunaratne wants to step down as captain after Ireland Tests next month
'Keep going in tough times' - Southee commends quicks for doing the job at blustery Basin Reserve
Southee, Tickner wrap up innings victory as New Zealand sweep series 2-0
|DM de Silva||caught||98||185|
|AM Fernando||not out||0||15|
|Extras||(lb 6, nb 2, w 14)|
|Total||358(10 wkts; 142 ovs)|