New Zealand beat Sri Lanka 2-0 in the recently concluded Test series. Here’s a look at the top performers in the series, which was pretty much dominated by the hosts.
Kane Williamson: The new Test number one batsman was the standout performer in the series. He finished with 268 runs, which included two fifties and a hundred. Williamson’s 108 at Hamilton sealed the series 2-0 for New Zealand after they were in a spot of bother. His half-centuries in the first Test were also crucial as he aided the openers in putting up big scores in both innings.
Martin Guptill: After a disastrous series in Australia, the New Zealand opener was completely at home against Sri Lanka. He kicked off the series with a 150, followed it up with 46 in the second innings at Dunedin. Guptill continued his good work with a half century in the first innings at Hamilton to finish the series with 253 runs at an average of 63.25.
Dinesh Chandimal: The Sri Lankan batsman finished the series as Sri Lanka’s top run-getter. But, he did not even cross 200 runs during the series, which says a lot about their batsman’s struggles. Chandimal scored 83 and 58 at Dunedin and 47 and 4 at Hamilton. While those weren’t bad scores, Sri Lanka would now be expecting hundreds from him.
Tim Southee: The Kiwi speedster was the leading wicket-taker with 13 wickets at an average of 16.30 and a strike rate of 37.6. Southee was among the wickets in both games, constantly troubling the Sri Lankans. He claimed 3 for 71 and 3 for 52 in the two innings at Dunedin. In the second Test at Hamilton, he picked up 3 for 63 and 4 for 26. He may have struggled against Australia with form and fitness issues, but there were no such problems against the inexperienced Sri Lankans.
Dusmantha Chameera: The biggest positive for Sri Lanka to come out of the series was the performance of Chameera. He finished the series with 12 wickets at an average of 24. But, it was his fast bowling at Hamilton that really stood out amid the ruins for the visitors. He rocked the New Zealand batting with figures of 5 for 47 in the first innings. Even in the second innings, as the Kiwis chased a small target, it was Chameera who put the hosts under pressure by claiming four wickets, thus ending the match with figures of 9 for 115.
Neil Wagner: The left-arm medium pace bowler also had a decent series. He played a good support act to Southee, and was also among the wickets in both Tests. While he did not claim a lot of scalps in the second innings at Dunedin, it was his pacy bowling that put the Sri Lankans on the backfoot, and allowed the others to run through the batting line-up. For the record, Wagner finished with 9 wickets at an average of 26, and strike rate of 40.
--By A Cricket Analyst