New Zealand triumphs in windy Wellington to sweep Sri Lanka series

New Zealand thrashed Sri Lanka in the second Test in Wellington to sweep their series 2-0 on Monday.

New Zealand thrashed Sri Lanka in the second Test in Wellington to sweep their series 2-0 on Monday. Photo: Getty

New Zealand has completed an innings and 58-run victory over Sri Lanka in the second Test in blustery Wellington to sweep the series 2-0 as the South Asian side’s resistance finally broke late on day four.

Having been asked to follow on, Sri Lanka needed 416 runs to make the hosts bat again but was bowled out for 358 in its second innings at the Basin Reserve to the relief of Tim Southee’s side.

“Tomorrow’s weather wasn’t looking flash,” Southee told reporters of a rainy day five forecast.

“The guys were a bit heavy in the legs, but we’re very pleased to have it wrapped up with a day to spare.”

The inaugural World Test Championship holders, New Zealand’s title defence ended long before but it finished the cycle on a high with three straight wins, including a pair of absolute thrillers against England in Wellington and the series opener in Christchurch.

It was no coincidence that talisman Kane Williamson was key in all three wins.

New Zealand’s finest batter was named Man of the Series, having scored 215 in Wellington after steering the Black Caps home with an unbeaten century in the final-ball win in Christchurch.

Henry Nicholls was Man of the Match in Wellington for his unbeaten 200 as New Zealand piled on 4(dec)-580 in its first innings after Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and elected to field.

Sri Lanka’s hopes of a first win in the country since 2006 all but ended when its batters managed only 164 in reply.

Yet they showed pride and grit to frustrate New Zealand on a day four blighted by severe wind gusts.

“The way we bowled I think we are not deserving to win because we bowled so many loose balls and gave the freebies to the Kiwis,” Karunaratne told reporters.

“The way the guys batted (today) I’m really proud of that, but we have many things to improve.”

Though victory appeared well beyond Sri Lanka when it resumed at 2-113 in the morning, there was some hope the tourists might bat out the day and even save the match with the help of day five rain.

After Karunaratne’s 51 late on day three, Kusal Mendis (50) and Dinesh Chandimal (62) made fifties, and No.6 Dhananjaya de Silva ploughed on to the cusp of a century by tea.

However, a wicket before and after the tea break, including De Silva’s dismissal for 98 with a botched scoop off Michael Bracewell, put the game back in New Zealand’s hands as Sri Lanka fell to 7-318.

Led by a 110-ball vigil for 20 by Kasun Rajitha, the tail did well to thwart New Zealand’s bowlers for hours longer than they would have hoped.

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