The NZ vs SL series began with Sri Lanka fighting for their chance at qualification for the World Test Championships. Throughout the 5 days, both teams presented their best foot forward but in the end, it was Kane Williamson who took his team across the line, literally. The former New Zealand captain’s brilliance with the bat in pressure situations was not only helpful for his team but for India as well.

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New Zealand’s victory in the first NZ vs SL test has now officially ended the hopes of Sri Lanka aiding India’s spot getting fixed. Batting first, Sri Lanka put up a score of 355 runs, in response to which, the hosts found it difficult to pile up big runs with wickets falling on the other hand. During the second innings for Sri Lanka, Angelo Mathews hit a century and New Zealand had 285 runs in front of them. Kane Williamson resumed day 3 with 28/1, needing 257 more runs to win the game.

Kane Williamson helps New Zealand register a last-ball victory

NZ vs SL: Kane Williamson Hits Century, Helps the Team Register 2 Wicket Victory
Kane Williamson dives to complete single to finish the game

Latham got off to a good start but was unable to build on it, as spinner Prabath Jayasuriya dismissed him for 25. Things were not looking good for the New Zealand camp as they were 90/3. However, yet again came to the rescue of the team alongside Kane Williamson was Daryl Mitchell. After his century in the first innings of the NZ vs SL, he put up a match-winning 142-run partnership with Kane Williamson.

Sri Lanka’s bowling was effective, picking up wickets and controlling the game till the final ball of the day. The drama unfolded when Kane Williamson missed the last ball with one run needed, but he sprinted for a single instead. Sri Lanka’s wicketkeeper threw the ball at the non-striker end in order to attempt a runout and draw the game. After several reviews, it was clear that the run was complete, announcing victory in favor of New Zealand.

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After the match-winning knock of 112 runs not out, captain Tim Southee praised Kane Williamson. “He’s just a world-class player, and world-class players are able to perform in different conditions and different situations. Even when he was young, he was the guy you leaned on. We saw his class even with that last boundary when he beat two fielders to the big side of the ground. Just the calmness with which he does it is good for the group. Seeing how calm he is in the middle keeps us all calm as well,” Southee said.

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