New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the first test on Monday, with Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson steering the Black Caps to a four-day victory built upon a strong performance by their pacemen. Sri Lanka resumed the final day at 293 -5 in its second innings and was soon reduced to nine down before Shaminda Eranga (45 not out) and Suranga Lakmal (16) shared a rapid 59-run stand for the final wicket to set New Zealand a target of 105 to win. That last -wicket stand raised Sri Lanka’s hopes of pulling off the rare feat of a test victory after following on, and there was further encouragement when both New Zealand openers were removed cheaply.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews boldly chose off - spinner Tharindu Kaushal to share the new ball with Eranga. The gamble played off when Kaushal sharply turned a ball to opener Tom Latham (17), providing a catch to Mathews at slip.