SL vs NZ, Galle

Sri Lanka won by 6 wkts

SL - 268/4 & 267
NZ - 285 & 249

Right then. Sri Lanka have to thank the pitch for the way it held up nicely in what would normally be a stiff chase. But kudos to Karunaratne and Co. for perfectly reading the pitch on the eve of the game. The captain said he expected the pitch to be good for batting when Galle normally has a history of turning into a dust bowl towards the fag end of the game. Sri Lanka ticked most boxes in what was a closely fought game for a good part of four days. New Zealand need to figure out their bowling plans for such conditions, but they can keep their head high for pushing Sri Lanka hard. These two teams meet again in Colombo on August 22 for the final Test. If the cricket is going to be this exciting, we are in for another good game at the P Sara Oval. See you then!

Dimuth Karunaratne | Man of the Match | winning captain: It was not easy to bat in the fourth innings. We wanted a good partnership and that's what me and Thirimanne discussed. Once you get set, you got to finish the job. After losing the toss the bowlers did a great job to restrict them. When the ball was hard it was turning and bouncing, but once you it gets old, it's easier to bat. We saw Taylor and Watling bat on that pitch. So we were saying it's not too dangerous, we just have to spend some time in the middle.

Kane Williamson | losing captain: We would have taken 260 as the target when we won the toss. The surface only slowed down and didn't deteriorate like in the past. It was a good surface. We probably batted reasonably well and didn't bowl well enough. There are a lot of positives from the game for us. The rankings and points are secondary to the quality of cricket that we want to play. This Test match wasn't our best performance, but Sri Lanka played really well and deserved to win.

Highest successful 4th innings run chases since 2016:
388 SL v Zim Colombo 2017
322 WI v Eng Headingley 2017
304 SL v SA Durban 2019
268 SL v NZ Galle 2019

This is a strange Test match batting wise. Batting got better and better as the game progressed, unlike the other way around. To start off, Akila Dananjaya and Suranga Lakmal were stars with the ball, while Ross Taylor's gritty effort gave New Zealand a respectable total. And then Ajaz Patel and William Somerville threatened to hand a sizeable lead to the visitors, but Lakmal and Niroshan Dickwella's brave efforts negated that. BJ Watling played excellent cricket with the lower-order to set a tough target, but Karunaratne and Thirimanne set it up nicely for the hosts with a 161-run opening stand. The former in particular was technically sound and kept the New Zealand bowlers at bay, while also enjoying a bit of luck with the edges not going to hand.

12:27 Local Time, 06:57 GMT, 12:27 IST: All smiles and hugs on the Sri Lankan balcony. New Zealand not too disappointed and that's good to see because they gave it all with the ball at the start defending this score. They pitch wouldn't assist them late and as the cliche goes, "credit to Sri Lanka for playing quality cricket." Both teams exchange pleasantries. And Mathews hands over the stump Karunaratne wanted. He is so happy and why not! He's led from the front with the bat. Top second innings hundred.

86.1 Boult to Mathews, 1 run, tucked through backward square leg and Sri Lanka record a highly impressive win to kick off their ICC Test Championship campaign

Karunaratne signals to the batsmen to bring a stump for him as a souvenir

85.6 Southee to Dhananjaya de Silva, no run, and Dhananjaya de Silva leaves again, just to tease Watling. Smiles all around

85.5 Southee to Dhananjaya de Silva, no run, short of length delivery outside off stump, Dhananjaya de Silva shoulders arms. Watling collects the ball and smiles at the batsman for leaving

85.4 Southee to Dhananjaya de Silva, FOUR, lovely pull shot! Had to fetch it from way outside off stump, Dhananjaya de Silva stands tall and sends it through the vacant mid-wicket spot. Scores level

85.3 Southee to Mathews, 1 run, driven straight down the ground, the ball hits the stumps at the bowler's end and deflects to the right of mid-on

85.2 Southee to Mathews, no run, fullish delivery on the off stump, Mathews defends

85.1 Southee to Mathews, no run, short of length delivery outside off stump, Mathews punches it towards short cover

We are not taking the break. Play to continue

84.6 Boult to Dhananjaya de Silva, 2 runs, punched straight down the ground as Boult overpitches, two more

84.5 Boult to Dhananjaya de Silva, no run, blocked back to the bowler

84.4 Boult to Mathews, 1 run, short delivery on the stumps, Mathews pulls it to fine leg

84.3 Boult to Mathews, no run, fullish delivery outside off stump, Mathews mistimes the drive to short cover

84.2 Boult to Mathews, no run, short of length delivery outside off stump, Mathews defends towards cover

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