Kane Williamson completed a stellar century as New Zealand sealed a 2-0 Test series victory over Sri Lanka.
Resuming their second innings on 142-5, New Zealand were 47 short of their target and all too aware that 16 wickets had fallen during Sunday’s play.
Sri Lanka paceman Dushmantha Chameera had taken nine wickets in the match, with New Zealand finding his bounce often too much.
But on day four of the second Test in Hamilton the home side avoided any further scares, cruising to their victory target without losing any further wickets, Williamson finishing undefeated on 108 – enough to move him up to replace AB de Villiers as the No 1-ranked batsman in the world.
Following an emphatic win in Dunedin, New Zealand almost came undone in the second match, conceding a 55-run first-innings deficit.
But in former Yorkshire player Williamson they have a player at the top of his game, and after a shambolic batting performance from Sri Lanka second time around on Sunday, when they were rooted out for 133, the game was there to be won by the Black Caps.
A fifth Test century of 2015 from Williamson anchored their innings, with the 25-year-old coming to the crease after Chameera had reduced the home side to 11-2 on Sunday.
While wickets continued to fall, Williamson stood firm and emphatically atoned for a first-innings failure, when he made just one, to earn the man of the match award.
BJ Watling swept the winning run, but it was Williamson’s day, again. A 13th career Test ton from the Tauranga-born batsman extends New Zealand’s unbeaten Test run to 13 games.
They and Sri Lanka now head into limited-overs action, with the first of five one-day internationals scheduled for Christchurch on Boxing Day.
Former England international Kevin Pietersen has been selected in the first round of the draft for the inaugural Pakistan Super League campaign by the Quetta Gladiators franchise.
The powerful batsman, who has played T20 cricket in Australia, South Africa and the Caribbean since finishing the County Championship season with Surrey, was selected fourth overall by the Gladiators.
Pakistan internationals Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik and former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson were the players taken ahead of him, Afridi after Peshawar Zalmi traded for the number one pick.
The league opted for a draft system rather than the auctions favoured by other domestic T20 leagues including the Indian Premier League. Players were split into categories - platinum, diamond, gold and silver, plus ‘emerging’ Pakistani players.
Pietersen was the only England-qualified player granted platinum status - and the accompanying 140,000 US Dollars (£94,000) pay packet - as James Anderson and Ian Bell went unselected on day one of the draft.
He will share a dressing room with fellow England cap Luke Wright, the Gladiators’ sixth pick as a USD70,000 (£47,000) diamond player.