New Zealand is touring Sri Lanka for a Test series for the first time in seven years as the two teams will face off in a 2-match Test series starting on Wednesday. This will be the first appearance for both Sri Lanka and New Zealand in the World Test championship. In fact, the Kiwis will be taking the field for the first time since missing out their maiden World Cup title in a nerve-wrenching final. The Dimuth Karunaratne-led side has to stop the Blackcaps from a 2-0 victory which the tourists need to climb to No.1 in Test rankings.
All the key stats and numbers ahead of New Zealand’s first Test series in Sri Lanka in seven years:
6 – New Zealand won six of their last seven Test matches against Sri Lanka. The last year’s Wellington Test match ended in a draw due to no play on the final day. In fact, Sri Lanka has not beaten New Zealand in any format since the start of 2016. In this span, the two teams faced off in 11 International games out of which the Kiwis won nine.
24 – Each of the previous 24 Test matches hosted by Sri Lanka has produced a result. The last drawn Test match in Sri Lanka was back in July 2014 between the hosts and South Africa hosted by Colombo (SSC).
46 – Tim Southee has picked up 46 wickets in only eight Test matches against Sri Lanka. He picked up two 5-fers and has an average of 18.04 against them. Southee needs four more wickets to become the 3rd player after Muttiah Muralitharan (82) and Daniel Vettori (51) to pick up 50 wickets in Sri Lanka-New Zealand Test matches.
80.66 – Kane Williamson has an impressive batting average of 80.66 in Test cricket against Sri Lanka. Across 15 innings in this format, Williamson amassed 968 runs with help of three tons and five half-centuries.
The New Zealand skipper needs 32 more runs to become the 3rd player to aggregate 1000 runs in Sri Lanka-New Zealand Test matches. Only Stephen Fleming (1166) and Mahela Jayawardene (1028) have 1000+ runs in SL-NZ Tests.
1506 – Runs Dimuth Karunaratne has scored in Test cricket since the start of August 2017. The Sri Lankan opener featured in 20 Tests and has a batting average of 39.63 in this period with help of three tons and ten fifties. Only Virat Kohli (2010) and Joe Root (1849) scored more Test runs than Dimuth in these 25 months.
1984 – The first and only instance of New Zealand winning a Test series in Sri Lanka was back in 1984. During their maiden Test tour of Sri Lanka in 1984, the Kiwis clinched the 3-match Test series by a 2-0 margin. Since then, the Blackcaps featured in six Test series on Sri Lankan soil out of which the hosts won three while remaining three ended in a draw.
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