In a spectacular display of spin bowling, Michael Bracewell turned the tide for New Zealand in their second Test against Sri Lanka at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Monday, March 20. The game was forced into single-end coverage due to gusty winds, creating an ideal scenario for Bracewell to shine.
Bracewell’s incredible performance occurred during the 121st over of Sri Lanka’s second innings when he was bowling to Prabhat Jayasuriya. His delivery on the off-stump drifted outside the tram line, leaving everyone stunned. Bracewell took advantage of the windy conditions and got a huge turn on offer that contributed to Sri Lanka’s downfall.
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Just when you think you’ve seen it all in cricket. High winds so single end coverage in Wellington. Here’s the supporting evidence… pic.twitter.com/AzQerm4h9b
— Rob Williams (@robwilliams_tv) March 20, 2023
According to weather.com, Wellington, where the match was held, is the windiest city in the world. On Monday, the wind speed was between 40 and 65 kmph, which made it a difficult day for cricket.
New Zealand’s innings in the second Test was defined by the heroics of Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls. Both batsmen scored double centuries, with the former scoring an incredible 215 runs. The hosts declared at 580/4 in 123 overs, with Kasun Rajitha taking two wickets for Sri Lanka. Dhananjaya de Silva and Prabath Jayasuriya also took one wicket apiece.
Sri Lanka struggled in response, being bundled out for 164 in 66.5 overs. Bracewell and Matt Henry each picked up three wickets, with Tim Southee, Doug Bracewell, and Blair Tickner taking one apiece. Sri Lanka’s captain Chamika Karunaratne was the top scorer for his team, with 89 runs off 188 balls, including nine fours.
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After being forced to follow on, Sri Lanka’s batting effort in their second innings was better, scoring 358 in 142 overs. However, New Zealand’s bowlers remained impressive, with Southee and Tickner taking three wickets each, while Bracewell took two. Henry and Doug Bracewell also contributed with one wicket each. Dhananjaya de Silva was the top scorer for Sri Lanka with 98 runs off 105 balls, while Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, and Dinesh Chandimal hit half-centuries each.
With this victory, New Zealand completed a 2-0 whitewash against Sri Lanka, with Bracewell’s exceptional performance being a key factor in the team’s success. The windy conditions in Wellington made it a challenging game, but New Zealand adapted well and emerged victorious.