Twitter Reactions: New Zealand stun Sri Lanka in Colombo to level the series

Twitter Reactions: New Zealand stun Sri Lanka in Colombo to level the series

Test Cricket has thrilled the fans twice in two days.

New Zealand team. (Photo Source: Twitter)
New Zealand team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Test Cricket is well and truly alive. Two matches – one in Headingley and the other almost 5480 miles away in Colombo – went down the wire. While Ben Stokes was the hero for England in the record-chase on Sunday, New Zealand pulled off a spectacular win on the last day of the second and final Test against Sri Lanka to level the series. The game looked set for a draw with rain eating a lot of time but the Kiwis were determined to get over the line and they did it in the end.

Starting the day with a substantial lead, New Zealand lost Colin de Grandhomme very early. But BJ Watling got going and scored a scintillating century. Tim Southee came out and slashed at everything to score a quick-fire 24 off just 10 deliveries as they added 49 runs in the five overs. They declared at 343 runs for the loss of seven wickets with a lead of 187 runs and had around 90 overs to bowl at the home team.

Sri Lanka panic under pressure

Lahiru Thirimanne opened the innings with Kusal Perera in the second innings. Dimuth Karunaratne wasn’t on the field for a long time due to thigh strain and it being an internal injury, he wasn’t allowed to open the innings. The new opening pair didn’t add a single run together as they both bagged ducks. While Thirimanne was run-out, Kusal Perera wafted at a harmless delivery to edge it to the wicket-keeper.

The fall of wickets continued with Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva not adding much to the team’s total. Kusal Mendis resisted well to play 63 balls but he got a ripping delivery from Will Somerville as Sri Lanka were left reeling at 32/5 and finally, Karunaratne came out to bat.

The solidity reflected in their innings as the Sri Lankan skipper and Niroshan Dickwella denied New Zealand for 22 overs adding 42 runs for the sixth wicket. But Karunaratne misjudged the incoming ball from Tim Southee and didn’t offer a shot only to be adjudged leg before. Dilruwan Perera bagged a duck as well and at 75/7, it looked curtains for the hosts.

However, Dickwella fought gamely with Suranga Lakmal by his side. Both of them again stood in the middle like a rock for almost 18 overs and with the final session in progress, the Kiwis were beginning to get restless. Boult constantly tried to get into the ears of Dickwella to disrupt his concentration but the left-hander batted to notch up a half-century.

But Somerville broke through at the other end getting Lakmal with a good ball slowing down his pace. Dickwella was also caught superbly by Tom Latham at forward short leg and it confirmed that the end was nigh for Sri Lanka. In the very next over, Boult bowled a well-directed short delivery to Lasith Embuldeniya who fended at it awkwardly and was caught by the skipper Kane Williamson comfortably.

Sri Lanka were skittled out for just 122 runs in the 71st over in the second innings and New Zealand won the game by an innings and 65 runs to level the series. They have also earned a valuable 60 points to get off the mark in the World Test Championship.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: