Black Caps seal series draw despite Mathews
Angelo Mathews’ defiant half-century proved in vain as Sri Lanka lost the second Test at the P Sara Oval to share their series against New Zealand 1-1.
Facing a notional target of 363, the hosts began the final day in trouble on 47 for four and, though Mathews made 84, only Prasanna Jayawardene and Nuwan Kulasekara offered any worthwhile support.
Tim Southee and Trent Boult took three wickets apiece as New Zealand bowled their opponents out for 195 to win by 167 runs. Doug Bracewell added 2-13 off 13 overs, having claimed the prized scalps of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene yesterday.
Having won the first Test in Galle by 10 wickets, Sri Lanka were focused solely on not losing the second match in order to earn a 1-0 series win.
The early run-out of Thilan Samaraweera left the score at 63 for five but Mathews and Prasanna Jayawardene survived the rest of the morning session.
The pair took their side to 107 for five at lunch and the partnership totalled 56 before wicketkeeper Jayawardene edged to opposite number Kruger van Wyk, giving leg-spinner Todd Astle his first Test wicket.
Suraj Randiv failed to score - he was caught at second slip off Boult - but Mathews reached a dogged 178-delivery half-century with his fifth boundary, hammered over midwicket off Astle, before repeating the dose next ball.
Kulasekara hit Astle for two sixes in an over and Mathews lifted Jeetan Patel beyond the rope, but resistance was still the order of the day as Sri Lanka reached tea on 167 for seven.
Kulasekara fell three balls after the restart for 18, taken at gully off Boult, before Southee put New Zealand on the brink of a series-levelling success by having Shaminda Eranga snaffled in the same area, Kane Williamson delivering an incredible one-handed catch.
Mathews went down swinging, hitting four boundaries in Southee’s next over, but edged Boult to Matin Guptill at second slip as the Black Caps came out on top.