Sri Lanka stroll to victory

Sri Lanka bowled New Zealand out for 286 to notch up victory by 217 runs and draw the series.

New Zealand began the day on 75-2 and needing plenty of runs from the top order to attempt to save the match. Fleming and Sinclair, the unbeaten batsmen from the previous day, began confidently and rotated the strike well until Fleming flashed at one outside the off stump from Malinga to be easily caught by Sangakkara for 27.

From then on, the New Zealanders struggled to score as Murali found his stride. First to go was Sinclair, who edged to first slip off the champion off-spinner to go for a cautious 37. Next to go was Astle, plumb LBW to Murali for the third time in four innings, to leave New Zealand struggling at 156-5.

Oram strode to the crease with Jamie How as his runner, and was visibly limited by his hamstring injury. The all-rounder could only make four until Vaas moved one in to have him LBW. Murali had his fourth of the innings the very next over with McCullum surviving a close shout off the first ball before he chopped on to the stumps on the fifth ball of the over.

Vettori was then joined by Franklin and the pair saw the team through to lunch with no further alarms. However, Vettori looked to attack in the post-lunch session while Franklin was content to give the strike to his senior partner. The pair fought hard to put on 96 until Vettori was trapped in front by Murali for an excellent 51. It was Murali’s 57th 5 wicket haul in Tests, and he was just one away from yet another 10-wicket match.

Bond and Franklin continued the rearguard action, although Bond was lucky not to go first ball to Muralitharan. The quick bowler rode his luck for a while before he was caught by the wicketkeeper off the bowling of Maharoof to give him his first wicket of the innings.

Chris Martin was the next man in. The number 11 batsman managed to hit the seventh four of his career to get off the mark and move past 50 career runs in Tests. However, Murali made sure he could not add anymore to his tally as he picked up Franklin, caught at deep midwicket, to get his 10th wicket of the match.

The New Zealanders were dismissed for 286, a fighting total after early failures by the top order. However, Sri Lanka still won by the impressive margin of 217 runs and square the two-match Test series.

Sri Lanka 268
Kumar Sangakkara 156*, Chamara Silva 61
Chris Martin 3-50, Daniel Vettori 3-53

New Zealand 130
Brendon McCullum 43, Jamie How 26
Lasith Malinga 5-68, Muttiah Muralitharan 4-31

Sri Lanka 365
Chamara Silva 152*, Chaminda Vaas 47
Daniel Vettori 7-130, Chris Martin 2-98

New Zealand 286
Daniel Vettori 51, James Franklin __
Muttiah Muralitharan 6-87, Lasith Malinga 2-68

Sri Lanka won by 217 runs.

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