New Zealand secure dramatic final-ball victory over Sri Lanka in first Test

New Zealand secure dramatic final-ball victory over Sri Lanka in first Test

New Zealand secured a dramatic two-wicket victory off the final ball of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Christchurch.

Kane Williamson hit 121 not out as the hosts took a 1-0 lead in the series, with the winning run coming courtesy of a bye as New Zealand chased a target of 285.

The Black Caps' highest previous successful fourth-innings run chase was the 324-5 they hit to beat Pakistan by five wickets in Christchurch in 1994.

Williamson and Neil Wagner ran through for the winning run, with Williamson securing the victory by diving full length to get his bat down in the crease before a direct hit broke the stumps at the non-striker's end.

Wagner, who will miss the second Test due to a bulging disc in his back and torn right hamstring, came to the crease with New Zealand needing five runs from three balls.

Williamson hit a boundary with three balls left, before Fernando's final two balls were both short deliveries, with the penultimate delivery a dot ball.

The victory ends any hopes of Sri Lanka qualifying for the World Test Championship final, with India to now face Australia at The Kia Oval in June.

New Zealand went into the final day resuming on 28-1 in their second innings, needing 257 more runs to win, but rain meant that over four hours of play was lost. Once the bad weather cleared, 52 overs were allowed in one extended session to achieve a result.

When play resumed, Tom Latham (25) was bowled by leg-spinner Prabath Jayasuriya and Henry Nicholls was caught in the deep for 20 to bring first-innings centurion Daryl Mitchell to the crease.

Mitchell scored 81 in a 142-run partnership with Williamson for the fourth wicket to put New Zealand on the cusp of victory.

Fernando gave the visitors renewed hope with yorkers to dismiss Mitchell and Tom Blundell (3) before Michael Bracewell (10) was caught at deep midwicket.

That set up a dramatic finish with New Zealand needing 15 runs from the last two overs and the nerves intensified when skipper Tim Southee holed out in the deep and Matt Henry was run out.

The second Test between New Zealand and Sri Lanka starts at Wellington's Basin Reserve on Friday.

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