Lankans march to victory

Cricket: First Test: Muralitharan sets up Islanders easy win as Kiwis fall short by 202 runs


CELEBRATION TIME:  Sri Lankan players celebrate their first Test win against New Zealand. AP

The Kiwis, set an improbable target of 413, collapsed to 210 all out in their second innings before tea on the fifth and final day at the Galle International stadium.

Off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan claimed three for 88 to take his world record tally to 777 wickets, while left-arm seamer Thilan Thushara and spinner Ajantha Mendis picked up two scalps each.

The tourists, who had 13 of their 15 players affected by a stomach bug and viral fever, had been left hoping the weather might do them a favour -- only for clear skies to break over the coastal town for the first time since the Test began.

Skipper Daniel Vettori battled bravely for two-and-a-half hours to make 67, his 20th Test fifty, sparking a brief resistance by the lower order after the Kiwis were reduced to 86 for five.

Jesse Ryder, one of the players worst affected by the virus, defended for almost an hour to add 48 for the sixth wicket with his captain before he was caught behind off Muralitharan for 22 soon after lunch.

Jeetan Patel hit 22 and Brendon McCullum, who was confined to bed on Friday due to fever, made 29 before he was last man to be dismissed, a run-out victim of a direct throw from Muralitharan.

Sangakkara surprisingly handed the ball to part-time spinner Mahela Jayawardene and the former captain struck with his second delivery to claim only his sixth wicket in 106 Tests.

SCORE BOARD

SRI LANKA (I Innings): 452
NEW ZEALAND (I Innings): 299
SRI LANKA (II Innings): 259/4 decl
NEW ZEALAND (II Innings, O/n: 30/1):

Guptill b Thushara    18

Flynn c M J’dene b Kulasekara    0

Taylor c P’dene b M J’dene    16

McIntosh c S’weera b Thushara    0

Oram lbw Mendis    21

Vettori c P J’dene b Mendis    67

Ryder c P J’dene b M’tharan    24

McCullum (run out)    29

Patel st P J’dene b M’tharan    22

O'Brien c Paranavitana b M’tharan    5

Martin (not out)    0

Extras (B-4, LB-1, NB-3    8
Total (all out, 71.5 overs)    210

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-37, 3-39, 4-45, 5-86, 6-134, 7-167, 8-204, 9-210.
Bowling: Kulasekara 8-2-20-1, Thilan Thushara 14-3-37-2, Ajanta Mendis 18.5-4-50-2, Muralitharan 27-4-88-3, Mahela Jayawardene 4-1-10-1.

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