After failing to defend 268 in Galle, the New Zealand team bounced back strongly to level the 2-match series against Sri Lanka in a rain-affected match. Dhananjaya de Silva’s century helped the Lankans to finish on 244 after electing to bat first. Contributions from Tom Latham (154), BJ Watling (105) and Colin de Grandhomme (83) pushed the Kiwis to 431/6. Blackcaps declared their innings five overs into the final day. No batsman from the home team showed fight except Niroshan Dickwella (51) as they were bundled out for just 122 and lost the game by innings and 65 runs.
All the statistical highlights from New Zealand’s innings win against the hosts at the P Sara Oval:
Latham’s record ton:
1 – Tom Latham became the first opener from New Zealand to score a Test century in Sri Lanka. The previous highest individual Test score by a New Zealand opener in Sri Lanka was 85 by Mark Richardson in 2003 also at the P Sara Oval.
4 – Number of 150+ scores by Latham in Test cricket in the last 12 months. As many as 11 players other than Latham have recorded a 150+ Test score in this period but none of them scored more one.
A rare ton in the top:
105* – BJ Watling’s unbeaten 105 is the first century by a New Zealand wicket-keeper while batting in top six in Test cricket. Brendon McCullum scored 97 in the 2008 Lord’s Test against England while batting at No.6. So far, 11 Test tons have been scored by NZ keepers while batting at No.7, three centuries at No.8 and two at No.9.
Milestones for Boult and Southee:
250 – Trent Boult (254) and Tim Southee (251) became 3rd and 4th players respectively to complete 250 Test wickets for New Zealand. Only Sir Richard Hadlee (431) and Daniel Vettori (361) are ahead of Boult-Southee duo in the list of leading wicket-takers for the Kiwis in Test cricket.
Southee @ 50:
53 – Number of wickets for Tim Southee in the Test cricket against Sri Lanka; the 2nd most by any player in SL-NZ Tests behind Muttiah Muralitharan’s 82 wickets. Daniel Vettori (51) is the other player with 50+ wickets in the Tests between Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
Williamson’s worst series:
24 – The 24 runs aggregated by Kane Williamson in this series across three innings are the fewest for him in a Test series where he batted more than once. His previous lowest Test series aggregate was 43 runs in four innings during the 2013 Test series in South Africa. During the one-off Test match at home against Zimbabwe in 2012, Williamson scored 4 runs in the only innings he batted.
1 – This is the first Test series as captain for Williamson where he failed to score a fifty. In the previous 11 Test series as captain, Kane had at least one fifty-plus score.
Losing after winning the toss:
8 – The toss winning team has won each of the last 8 Test matches in Sri Lanka prior to this Test series. However, New Zealand in the first Test and Sri Lanka in this Test match lost after electing to bat first.
The last instance of toss winning team losing two matches in a Test series in Sri Lanka was back in 2009. Pakistan lost both the matches where they won the toss during the 3-match series against the hosts in 2009.
Southee goes past Tendulkar:
71 – Number of sixes Tim Southee has hit in his Test career thus far; the 15th most by any player in this format. Southee, with the two sixes he hit in this Test, went past Clive Lloyd (70), Younis Khan (70) and Sachin Tendulkar (69).
Sri Lanka’s poor record at home:
3 – Sri Lanka now has lost three Test matches since the start of 2017 at home by innings margins. India thumped the Lankans twice by innings margin during the 3-match series in 2017. Between July 2000 and June 2017, Sri Lanka did not lose even one home Test by an innings margin.
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