Sri Lanka made a winning start to World Test championship as they defeated New Zealand by six wickets in the Galle Test. In their first match since the World Cup final, the Kiwis were restricted to 249 in the opening innings of the game. Akila Dananjaya (5/80) and Suranga Lakmal (4/29) shared nine wickets between them. Later Lakmal shared an 81-run stand for the 8th wicket with Niroshan Dickwella (61) to help the hosts earn an 18-run lead.
BJ Watling’s 77-run knock rescued the visitors from 124/6 in their 2nd innings. New Zealand finished with 285 and set a target of 268 to the home side. Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne (122) and Lahiru Thirimanne (62) added 161 for the opening wicket to ease the pressure on middle-order. Karunaratne departed after a well completed 122 on the final day which was enough to power his team to a record chase.
All the statistical highlights from Sri Lanka’s first win in more than three years against New Zealand:
Sri Lanka’s rare win against Kiwis:
2016 – This win was Sri Lanka’s first win in the International cricket against New Zealand since the start of 2016. Lankans lost nine of their previous 11 matches against the Kiwis.
Sri Lanka’s last win over New Zealand came at the end of 2015 in an ODI. The instance of Lankans defeating the Blackcaps in a Test match was at home in 2012. New Zealand won the six out of seven Test matches against Sri Lanka between these two defeats.
End of Galle’s jinx:
268 – The 268-run chase by Sri Lanka is the first-ever successful chase of 100+ target in Test cricket at the Galle International Stadium. Teams chasing 100+ targets previous in Galle lost 15 out of 18 Test matches while the other three ended in a draw. The previous highest successful Test chase in Galle was 99 by Sri Lanka against Pakistan in 2014.
The record partnership:
1 – Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne added 161 for the first wicket; the highest 4th innings opening stand for Sri Lanka surpassing 124-run partnership by Karunaratne with Kaushal Silva in the 2014 Dubai Test against Pakistan.
This is also the highest 4th innings partnership by any opening pair in Sri Lanka going past UC Hathurusingha and RS Mahanama pair’s 110-run stand in the 1992 Colombo Test against Australia.
161 – The 161-run partnership between Karunaratne and Thirimanne is the 11th highest opening stand in the 4th innings of a Test. This is also the 2nd highest 4th innings opening partnership in the last 20 years. David Warner and Cameron Bancroft added 173 in the 2017 Brisbane Test against England on their way to a 10-wicket win.
161 – The opening stand of 161 runs is the 5th highest opening partnership for Sri Lanka in Test cricket and the 3rd highest at home. This is also the first 150+ opening stand for Sri Lanka at home in the 21st century.
A record century:
122 – Dimuth Karunaratne’s 122-run knock is only the 2nd century by a Sri Lankan captain in a successful run chase in Test cricket. Mahela Jayawardene scored 123 in the 2006 Colombo (PSS) Test match against South Africa. Dimuth’s knock is the 7th highest by any captain in a successful 4th innings chase in Tests.
Best start to a Lankan skipper:
3 – Dimuth Karunaratne won all the three matches he captained Sri Lanka in Test cricket. Rangana Herath and Suranga Lakmal also won their first three Tests as Sri Lankan captain.
Kane’s 2nd worst Test:
4 – Runs aggregated by Kane Williamson in this Test; the 2nd fewest he scored in a Test match where he batted twice. Williamson scored three runs (2, 1) in the 2017 Wellington Test against South Africa.
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