New Zealand draw series after Sri Lanka collapse on final day

Contrasting half-centuries from B J Watling and Colin de Grandhomme helped New Zealand lead by 138 runs in their first innings against Sri Lanka on day four of the rain-hit second Test yesterday.

India, New Zealand and Sri Lanka all sit in 60 points however India play West Indies in the second and final test of their series starting Friday NZT.

The left-hander was batting on 37 in overcast conditions after the hosts, who lead the two-match series 1-0, elected to bat first. The pacemen claimed two wickets each as Sri Lanka reached 144 for six at lunch when rain came down and no further play was possible.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson used some aggressive field placings, sometimes placing as many as five fielders around the bat.

Sri Lanka won the first test by six wickets in Galle.

Boult struck twice in the 42nd over, having Angelo Mathews (2) dismissed with the first ball when he attempted a pull shot and gloved a catch to wicketkeeper BJ Watling.

Tom Latham fell for a magnificent 154 after he and Watling took the tourists beyond Sri Lanka's 244 all out before De Grandhomme made up for the lost time by smashing 83 not out from only 75 balls.

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Sri Lanka's makeshift opening pairing of Lahiru Thirimanne and Kusal Perera both found themselves back in the pavilion without getting off the mark.

Earlier in the afternoon Watling had stayed unbeaten on 105, finishing his seventh evaluation century earlier captain Kane Williamson announced. It all started with Lahiru Thirimanne's run out on the fifth ball of the innings.

Perera, a fill-in at the top of the order due to Dimuth Karunaratne's quad injury, had been playing wild shots all series, and sure enough, flew the bat at a wide delivery from Boult and was caught behind.

Kusal Mendis (30) was the last man to go courtesy of a great delivery from Grandhomme.

Karunaratne's gritty knock of 65 too came to an end off to a Tim Southee delivery.

The two batsmen kept the Sri Lankan attack at bay in the final session as Watling played the sheet anchor role to perfection, while allowing De Grandhomme to take charge. He went on to get 150 runs and stitched 143 runs with Watling, who got his fifty.

  • Lawrence Cooper