‘Test cricket at its very best’ – New Zealand hailed after thrilling last-ball victory over Sri Lanka
New Zealand beat Sri Lanka in a last-ball Test thriller in Christchurch, with Kane Williamson scoring a memorable century to seal the Black Caps’ second last-gasp victory in as many Tests.
With the scores tied and one ball to go on the final day of play, Williamson and Neil Wagner scampered through for a bye as the light faded – a direct hit to the non-striker stumps ensuring some last-minute drama. Asitha Fernando bowled a short ball which sailed over Williamson’s head, Wagner having already taken off for a single from the other end.
As the keeper’s throw to the stumps missed and Wagner dived full length to make his ground, Fernando picked up the ball and shied at the other set stumps. His throw hit half way up middle-stump with Williamson sprawled on the ground attempting to slide his bat in. The replay showed Williamson had made his ground by a third of his bat length.
The dramatic finish and Williamson’s performance sparked plenty of reaction online.
What an innings from Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell. Epic Test Match. New Zealand producing epic thrillers and again proving Test Cricket is best Cricket. #NZvsSL pic.twitter.com/4LATFBkjt4
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) March 13, 2023
New Zealand has defeated Sri Lanka by three centimetres in Christchurch…#NZvSL
— Nic Savage (@nic_savage1) March 13, 2023
Winning the test on the final ball on day 5 and that too by the barest of margins!! Take a bow Williamson 🙌🏽 Congratulations @BLACKCAPS 👏🏽 #NZvSL pic.twitter.com/LXAfF5n6SA
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) March 13, 2023
What a picture this is – Kane Williamson gave his all and put in the dive to win it for New Zealand. Injured Wagner dived, Sri Lankan players in hope for a run out. pic.twitter.com/lmKMzvUgIM
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) March 13, 2023
Wagner’s performance was also praised online. At 37 and reportedly struggling with injury in the latter stages of the Test, he gave his all on the final delivery to secure the single. It was also his birthday.
Bulging disc in his back and torn hamstring. Ran onto the field and sprinted & dived to make his ground for the winning run.
Neil Wagner will always be remembered as one of New Zealand’s best ever fighters.#NZvSL pic.twitter.com/6UjnR9BGZq
— CricBlog ✍ (@cric_blog) March 13, 2023
Neil Wagner isn’t human. If that’s his last test, that’s the most fitting way for him to go out. Running the winning single with a torn hammy and a bulging disc. Legend of the game. #NZvSL
— Ben Strang (@BenJStrang) March 13, 2023
Aside from the dramatic finish, the result also means Sri Lanka are now mathematically incapable of qualifying for the World Test Championship final. India have now been confirmed to join Australia for the match at The Oval in June.
Kane Williamson does it for New Zealand and India on the final ball of the Test. His 27th Test century guides India into the final of the World Test Championship against Australia.
— Rahul Rawat (@rawatrahul9) March 13, 2023