Malinga brightens 1st Test draw

Sri Lanka’s young quick Lasith Malinga took a career-best 5/80 to rattle New Zealand early on Day 5 of the 1st Test, but it was not enough to prevent the match petering out to a draw. Malinga took nine wickets in a match dominated by batsmen, earning him Man of the Match honours.

Needing quick wickets, Malinga continued his strategy of bowling fast and full, and was rewarded early on with the wicket of Paul Wiseman, trapped LBW for a duck. James Marshall made a valuable 39, before a wily arm-ball from Sanath Jayasuriya trapped him in front too. Stephen Fleming was forced to retire hurt, after injuring his hand during fielding, but was to come back later to play a crucial role.

Astle and Vincent kept the bowlers at bay for a while, before Astle was unluckily run out for 19. Vincent had hit a straight drive back to Jayasuriya, who got a finger to it and deflected it on to the stumps, catching Astle out of his ground. Jayasuriya struck again, removing Franklin to make it 128/6, giving Sri Lanka a genuine chance of victory.

Vincent remained resolute, however, before finally succumbing for 52, missing a Chandana delivery. Fleming had returned by this stage, and lasted a crucial 121 deliveries to shut Sri Lanka out of the game. Herath removed Mills, before Malinga completed the five with the wicket of Fleming, mistiming a pull shot on 42.

Requiring 302 runs in under 30 overs, Jayasuriya had time to smash one boundary before bad light put an end to any hopes of a result. Both sides will be encouraged by the performance of their batsmen going into the second Test, but the match will likely be decided by the bowlers.

Score Summary:

NEW ZEALAND 561 all out from 159.1 overs
HJH Marshall 160, NJ Astle 114, BB McCullum 99;
SL Malinga 4/131

SRI LANKA 498 all out from 148.1 overs
DPMdS Jayawardene 141, MS Atapattu 127, TT Samaraweera 88;
JEC Franklin 4/126, CS Martin 4/132

NEW ZEALAND 238 all out from 92.4 overs
L Vincent 52, SP Fleming 41;
SL Malinga 5/80

SRI LANKA 7 for 0 from 1.3 overs

Result: Match Drawn.
Series: 2-Test series level 1-0.

Man of the Match: Lasith Malinga (4/131 and 5/80)

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