COLOMBO, Nov 29: Angelo Mathews' resilience could not deny New Zealand their first Test victory in Sri Lanka in 14 years as the visitors won the second Test by 167 runs to level the two-match series here on Thursday.
Mathews struck a defiant 84 and resisted the New Zealand attack before being the last man out as Sri Lanka, resuming on 47 for four, folded for 195 runs 25 minutes after tea at the P. Sara Oval.
The victory also ended New Zealand's five-match losing streak, their worst in 57 years.
“It was good to win after losing so comprehensively in Galle,” New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor said, referring to his team's 10-wicket defeat inside three days in the first Test.
“We got a lot of stick in the week leading up to this match but we were very determined to get a competitive total.
“Test match wins away from home don't happen very often, so we will enjoy this and hopefully get some momentum going forward,” he said.
His Sri Lankan counterpart Mahela Jayawardene blamed the top order batsmen for the defeat.
“We lost wickets up front and so the momentum was not there. Credit to New Zealand as they bowled well throughout the series with the new ball,” he said.
Sri Lanka slipped to 63 for five soon after the resumption on the final day when Thilan Samaraweera (7) was run out after a horrible mix-up with Mathews.
Taylor was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match for his knocks of 142 and 74, while Herath was named the Man-of-the-Series after taking 20 wickets, including 11 in Galle.—Reuters
Scoreboard NEW ZEALAND (1st Innings) 412 (L.R.P.L. Taylor 142, K.S. Williamson 135, D.R. Flynn 53; H.M.R.K.B. Herath 6-103).
SRI LANKA (1st Innings) 244 (T.T. Samaraweera 76, A.D. Mathews 47, N.T. Paranavitana 40; T.G. Southee 5-62, T.A. Boult 4-42).
NEW ZEALAND (2nd Innings) 194-9 declared (L.R.P.L. Taylor 74; H.M.R.K.B. Herath 3-67).
SRI LANKA (2nd Innings, overnight 47-4): N.T. Paranavitana lbw b Southee 0 T.M. Dilshan c van Wyk b Southee 14 K.C. Sangakkara b Bracewell 16 M. Jayawardene c van Wyk b Bracewell 5 T.T. Samaraweera run out 7 A.D. Mathews c Guptill b Boult 84 P. Jayawardene c van Wyk b Astle 29 S. Randiv c Guptill b Boult 0 N. Kulasekara c Williamson b Boult 18 R.M.S. Eranga c Williamson b Southee 0 R. Herath not out 6
EXTRAS (B-4, LB-11, W-1) 16 TOTAL (all out, 85.5 overs) 195 FALL OF WKTS: 1-0, 2-35, 3-41, 4-46, 5-63, 6-119, 7-122, 8-168, 9-169. BOWLING: Southee 20-5-58-3; Boult 17.5-6-33-3; Bracewell 13-6-13-2 (1w); Patel 16-7-20-0; Astle 18-4-56-1; Flynn 1-1-0-0. RESULT: New Zealand won by 167 runs to level two-Test series 1-1. UMPIRES: M. Erasmus (South Africa) and N.J. Llong (England). TV UMPIRE: R.S.A. Palliyaguruge (Sri Lanka). MATCH REFEREE: Javagal Srinath (India). MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Ross Taylor. MAN-OF-THE-SERIES: Rangana Herath. FIRST TEST: Galle, Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets.