Sports, Cricket

Williamson leads NZ to last-ball win over Sri Lanka

Published : 13 Mar 2023 09:25 PM

Kane Williamson was hailed as "world class" after New Zealand's record Test run-scorer orchestrated a dramatic last-ball win over Sri Lanka on a rain-disrupted final day in Christchurch on Monday.

The thrilling triumph at the Hagley Oval scuppered Sri Lanka's chances of making the World Test Championship final, handing the spot to India.

In a helter-skelter finish, the only Sri Lankans not guarding the boundary for most of the closing 10 overs were the bowler and wicketkeeper as New Zealand chased down their target of 285. Having lost eight wickets and on a day limited to 53 overs, skipper Tim Southee paid tribute to his star batsman Williamson.

The former captain finished 121 not out and ran a bye off the final delivery of the match in a remarkable conclusion, to go with New Zealand's one-run victory over England a fortnight ago.

"Seeing how calm he is out in the middle keeps us calm as well," Southee said as New Zealand celebrated another famous, nail-biting win.

"The guys were very trusting in what he was going to do and alongside Daryl (Mitchell) for most of the day it was a great partnership that got us in that great position.

"He's a world-class player and world-class players are able to perform in different conditions."

Visiting captain Dimuth Karunaratne said that fielding errors let his side down, particularly dropping the talisman Williamson on 33.

"We had a good chance to win, unfortunately we are the losing side," he said.

"We had misfields a few times that cost us the game. We have to minimise those mistakes."