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Murali spins Sri Lanka to Wellington victory
December 18, 2006 10:40 IST
Six wickets from Muttiah Muralitharan helped Sri Lanka win the second and final Test against New Zealand by 217 runs on Monday to square the series at 1-1.
Muralitharan took 6-87, for match figures of 10-118 and his 19th ten-wicket haul in Tests, as a valiant effort from New Zealand's tail finally ended when they were dismissed for 286 before tea on the fourth day.
The hosts had won the first Test by five wickets in Christchurch last week.
Resuming on their overnight 75 for two, New Zealand slumped to 163 for seven before the tailed wagged.
Daniel Vettori struck 51 and James Franklin 44 in an eighth-wicket stand of 96 before Vettori became Muralitharan's fifth victim when he was trapped lbw.
The end came soon after as Shane Bond was caught behind off Farveez Maharoof for six and Franklin was last man out, caught by Chamara Silva on the midwicket boundary off Muralitharan.
Facing an enormous task at the start of play in pursuit of an unlikely victory target of 504, the Kiwis lost the key wicket of skipper Stephen Fleming when he edged to Kumar Sangakkara for 27 off the bowling of Lasith Malinga.
Muralitharan claimed his second wicket of the innings and first of the morning when Mathew Sinclair holed out to Mahela Jaywardene for 37 to make it 139 for four.
Murali then trapped Nathan Astle lbw for nine and bowled Brendon McCullum for 17, either side of Chaminda Vaas gaining an lbw verdict against Jacob Oram (4), as the hosts lost three wickets for the addition of seven runs to fall to 163 for seven.
New Zealand had been skittled for just 130 in their first innings in reply to Sri Lanka's 268, while an unbeaten 152 in his second Test from Silva formed the backbone of Sri Lanka's second-innings effort of 365.
The match started amid an acrimonious atmosphere after Muralitharan's controversial run-out in the first Test when he was adjudged out after the bails were removed when he walked to congratulate team mate Sangakkara for reaching a century.
Sri Lanka 1st innings 268 (K. Sangakkara 156no, C. Silva 61)
New Zealand 2nd innings (Overnight: 75-2; Target: 504 runs)
Fall of wickets: 1-56 2-60 3-115 4-139 5-156 6-161 7-163 8-259 9-278 10-286
Result: Sri Lanka won by 217 runs