Sri Lanka
World Test Championship

How the Christchurch match shifted the World Test Championship final race


By Daniel Beswick

Hit For Six!

New Zealand ended Sri Lanka's hopes of qualifying for the ICC World Test Championship 2023 final after sealing a last-ball, two-wicket win in Christchurch.

As Kane Williamson scurried to run a match-winning bye off the final ball, their victory quashed Sri Lanka's hopes of finishing in the top two positions in the ICC World Test Championship standings, with India now set to play Australia in the final of the marquee event at The Oval in London from June 7-11.

Earlier on a dramatic day in Christchurch, rain added to the uncertainty as Sri Lanka and New Zealand battled in the first Test, with multiple scenarios seeming equally likely at various points.

Needing 257 runs with nine wickets in hand on the truncated day, New Zealand began in circumspect fashion, before Daryl Mitchell and Kane Williamson accelerated.

A draw was not good enough for Sri Lanka, who attacked in spite of the Kiwi counter, and as the pair arm-wrestled in a pulsating day, all four results were still possible when Asitha Fernando took the ball for the match's final over.

With five needed off the final three deliveries, Williamson swatted a boundary behind point, before running a bye with the injured Neil Wagner to claim victory off the final ball of the day at 7:41pm local time.

Sri Lanka needed victory in both Test matches in New Zealand to stand a chance of qualifying for the final.

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand

Watch New Zealand and Sri Lanka in 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is with a Black Caps Pass on (in select regions)

More News