Sri Lanka won the toss, batted first and put up a 400 plus first innings score. They had 2 spinners in Murali and Herath and it was always going to be tough for the visitors.
McIntosh batted for good periods of time but big hundreds were the need of the hour.As usual, Taylor promised a lot but the three figure scores went missing. Guptill and McCullum have been big disappointments in these couple of tests. Flynn, Ryder and Oram displayed the commitment needed but this squad of players need to play more tests in the sub-continent in order to be more competitive.
Samaraweera looks in ominous form. I thought he was playing poorly for more than a couple of seasons and the selectors deserve some credit for retaining him.He’s a class act and has changed his mindset now. He values his wicket a lot more than what he used to and his levels of concentration have been really good. His footwork and determination have gone miles ahead.He was shot at by some cowards in Pakistan and had bullets in his body not too long ago and look at what he’s achieved now..Easily, the player of the series.
Mahela seemed to be as hungry as ever and was unlucky to get out in the 90s twice in the same match.
NZ needed 494 and with five wickets remaining on the last day, few would have expected any talk of a loss to Sri Lanka. Dan Vettori managed to create that.When he and O Brien were going strong, SL were desperate. Captain Sangakkara didnt look too relaxed. They had less than 100 runs to get with a strong ninth wicket partnership going. 397 runs on a 4th innings in Sri Lanka against Murali and Herath is an outstanding effort.
The contribution of Daniel Vettori to New Zealand cricket has been immense. He’s now part of the selection panel and rightly so. This is a brave move made by the New Zealand cricket authorities as this has some recipe for conflict but I’m sure Dan will do a brilliant job. It’s going to be difficult to deal with each and every player since hes both captain and selector. It’ll be interesting to hear from the players what sort of influence he has on them and the level of
discussion he does with his mates.
With more than due credit to his batting credentials, its a shame to the Kiwi batsmwn that he made such an incredible fourth innings century chasing 494, against the Lankan spinners in Lankan soil. Dangers that were posed by Thushara and Prasad arent to be ignored.
The Kiwi captain is a true great of the game and world cricket should always remain grateful to this gentleman cricketer.
I’m very impressed with this current squad and set up. They should persist with the same group. Australia are touring Kiwi land in about seven months from now and that promises to be a tight series. The batsmen need to convert the starts into big hundreds and they need a Bond back in the bowling department.
The Kiwi test team is on the rise. Remember the way in which Pakistan ( familiar with Lankan conditions and spinners) folded up recently.
Hail the captain, the selector, the frontline spinner and the batsman, Sir Daniel Vettori!!