New Zealand and Sri Lanka played one of the most thrilling Test matches in cricket history at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Monday. The hosts won the match on the last delivery of Day 5, completing their third-highest run chase ever to beat Sri Lanka by just one wicket.
Sri Lanka scored 355 in their first innings, with Kusal Mendis leading the charge with an attacking 87 off 83 balls. New Zealand outscored Sri Lanka by 18 runs in their first innings, largely thanks to a century from Daryl Mitchell.
Matt Henry’s 72 runs off 74 balls in the same innings took New Zealand to a total of 373. In the second innings, Blair Tickner sent the entire back four of Sri Lanka back to the pavilion, but an Angelo Matthews century took the Lions past 300 and set a target of 285 for New Zealand.
Rain interrupted the last day, setting up a thrilling finale. New Zealand could have settled for a draw, but they chose to go for the win. Daryl Mitchell’s quick 81 off 86 deliveries set the tone, and former skipper Kane Williamson’s magnificent innings ensured victory for New Zealand.
However, the last over was tense, with eight runs required off the last over and just three wickets in hand. A boundary on the fourth ball brought the equation down to 1 off 2. Williamson ran for his life hoping to steal a bye, and a direct hit by the bowler on the non-striker’s end meant the game was tied.
However, the replays showed that Williamson had made it past the crease by a whisker, giving New Zealand the victory. The win also meant that India qualified for the World Test Championship Final against Australia, and Sri Lanka was eliminated from the running.