The cricket world was buzzing with excitement as New Zealand faced Sri Lanka in a crucial match at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. With both India and Sri Lanka vying for a spot in the World Test Championship final, this match was a must-win for both sides.
In a nail-biting thriller, New Zealand emerged victorious by 2 wickets, thanks to a heroic ton by star batter Kane Williamson on the final day. The win not only secured New Zealand’s spot in the WTC final but also helped India reach the final.
Here’s how it all went down:
Rain played a spoil-sport on Day 5, wiping out 37 overs of play. With the match seemingly headed towards a draw, New Zealand had different plans. Williamson and his team kept fighting and set their sights on a victory.
Needing 257 runs off 53 overs on the final day, New Zealand faced an uphill task. But Williamson’s gritty performance kept his team in the game. With three wickets in hand, the Kiwis needed 8 runs off the last over to win.
The drama reached its peak as Williamson and Matt Henry scored two singles off the first two deliveries of the last over. On the third delivery, Williamson tried to sneak a couple of runs but Henry got run out as he failed to reach his crease.
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With New Zealand needing 1 run off the last ball, Fernando bowled a bouncer on middle and leg. Williamson attempted a hook shot but missed, and the ball went to the wicketkeeper. The batters, however, ran for a bye, and Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella threw the ball, missing the target.
Fernando collected the ball and aimed at the non-striker end, where Williamson was making a desperate dive to complete the single. The bowler’s throw struck the stumps, and the on-field umpire went upstairs. The TV replay showed that Williamson had made it inside the crease by the narrowest of margins, securing a thrilling victory for his side.
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The defeat in the first test has ended Sri Lanka’s hopes of qualifying for the WTC 2023 final. Australia and India have already secured their spot in the final, and with New Zealand’s victory, India has also booked its place in the final.