THE Black Caps have snapped a five-match losing streak with a memorable 167-run win over Sri Lanka in Colombo, their first victory in 10 months.
The Kiwis dismissed the hosts for 195 in their second innings, getting rid of the stubborn Angelo Matthews to reverse the 10-wicket thrashing they suffered in the first test in Galle.
It was new coach Mike Hesson’s first test victory.
“It was tough after losing so comprehensively in Galle but the way we trained and the way we prepared for this match and the way the players stepped up, every single one of them, it was a credit to them. We’ll treasure this moment for a while,” said Black Caps captain Ross Taylor.
Taylor was named man of the match for his scores of 142 and 74, although much of the plaudits went the way of seamers Tim Southee and Trent Boult.
They took 15 of the 20 Sri Lanka wickets, with Boult taking match figures of 7-75 and Southee 8-120.
They were the perfect foil, with Southee doing much of the damage at the start, and Boult managing to top 140kmh, even as the match wore on.
Taylor had good support from Kane Williamson, who scored his third test century, including five catches.
“We got a lot of stick during the week and I was very determined to get out there and put a competitive total on the board. Kane Williamson helped me out and 400 was very competitive. We fought hard over all five days,” Fairfax NZ reported Taylor as saying.
“We knew if we put the ball in the right areas for long enough (on the final day) we gave ourselves a chance and we certainly did that and held our catches, there were some stunners out there.”
While last year’s win over Australia in Hobart was historic, this victory is arguably a better achievement, given the heat and humidity in Colombo, and the flat pitch.