New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka by 2 wickets in a nail-biting thriller at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. The defeat in first test has also ended Sri Lanka’s hopes of qualifying for the World Test Championship final beginning from June 7 as Australia and India are through to the WTC 2023 final.
Team India seal WTC final berth after Sri Lanka’s last-ball defeat against New Zealand
Cricket fans had set their eyes on the all-important first test between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Christchurch. This game was crucial in terms of WTC final contention as both India and Sri Lanka were trying to book their slot while Australia had already qualified.
Rain wiped out 37 overs on Day 5 and it seemed as if the draw was the most likely result in the first test but the Kiwis had different plans. Star New Zealand batter Kane Williamson kept fighting for his side and finally made sure to grab victory for his side on the last delivery of the match after scoring a heroic ton.
As the game resumed after rain New Zealand had clear plans of trying for a victory rather than going for a draw. The Kiwi side needed 257 runs off 53 overs on the final day. The nail-biting thriller went into the last over as New Zealand needed 8 runs to clinch the victory with three wickets in hand.
Kane Williamson and Matt Henry scored two singles in the first two deliveries of the last over bowled by pacer Asitha Fernando. The drama became even more intense as Williamson tried sneaking a couple on the third delivery in order to keep the strike with him but Matt Henry got run out as he failed to reach to his crease.
Williamson then went on to hit a four under pressure after which Asitha Fernando bowled a dot delivery as New Zealand needed 1 run off the last delivery. Fernando bowled a bouncer on middle and leg and Williamson failed to connect the hook shot but the two batters still ran to get a bye.
Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella threw the ball but missed the target after which Fernando collected the ball and aimed at the non-striker end as Kane Williamson made a desperate dive to complete the single. Fernando’s throw struck the stumps as the on-field umpire went upstairs after which the TV replay showed that Williamson was inside the crease by the barest of margins clinching a crunching victory for his side.