Tuesday, 20 November 2012

New Zealand Woeful

Herath 11-108 for the match
Sri Lanka had the easiest of wins in the First Test at Galle, when New Zealand crawled to drinks in the first session, losing 2-18 and then lost another five wickets in the second hour. It was done and dusted just before tea, with openers Tharanga Paranavitana and Dimuth Karunaratne knocking of the 93 runs deficit in just 16 overs.

The hero was Rangara Herath, who routed the Kiws with 6-43 and eleven wickets for the match. This is his best year in Test cricket, with 46 wickets now 21 and two ten wicket matches. He is the leading wicket taker in the world this year. After a slow start to his international career and for so long being in Muralithiran's skinny shadow, he has come into his own in the last two years. Nuwan Kulasekara removed two of the top three and Suraj Randiv helped mop up the tail. Daniel Flynn was the best of a very poor batting line up.

To be beaten by 10 wickets before tea on the third day of a Test match is a disaster, especially when you have bowled them out in the process for less than 250. New Zealand cricket desperately needs leadership. It has the raw young talent. Kane Williamson, Daniel Flynn and Doug Bracewell are all good enough to be there but they need a rock at the centre.

The second and final Test begins in Colombo on Sunday.