Cricket: Sri Lanka's 111 days in New Zealand

By Niall Anderson

Since Sri Lanka began their Cricket World Cup preparation with a 2014 Boxing Day test, they have played the Black Caps a staggering 19 times across all formats.
Since Sri Lanka began their Cricket World Cup preparation with a 2014 Boxing Day test, they have played the Black Caps a staggering 19 times across all formats.

As the Sri Lankan cricketers finished their tour of New Zealand with a crushing defeat, an end finally arrived to what has been a record stint of clashes between the two teams.

Since Sri Lanka began their Cricket World Cup preparation with a 2014 Boxing Day test, they have played the Black Caps a staggering 19 times across all formats.

Spread out amongst four test matches, 13 one-day internationals and two Twenty 20s, Sri Lanka only found success on three occasions, with New Zealand winning 14 times and two games being rained out.

In fact, since Boxing Day 2014, 39% of New Zealand's international cricketing clashes have come against Sri Lanka.

The 19 matches played between the two sides are the most in world cricket since Boxing Day 2014, with Australia v England (15 matches), Zimbabwe v Afghanistan (14) and India v South Africa (13) the next most common clashes.

Quite simply, the amount of time the Sri Lankan team have spent on New Zealand soil is staggering.

Including warm-up games and days to acclimatise from travelling, Sri Lanka have spent 111 days in Aotearoa since landing -meaning 28.5% of their time since that date has been used travelling around New Zealand.

They've visited a lot of locations during their travels. Including Cricket World Cup games against England and Afghanistan, the Sri Lankan team visited Wellington (three times), Dunedin (four times), Hamilton (twice), Christchurch (five times), Nelson (three times), Auckland (twice) and Mount Maunganui (twice).

That's a lot of air travel - an estimated 8,429 kilometres in fact, while there has also been a lot of turbulence on the pitch.

Sri Lanka spent just over 94 hours (5660 minutes) in the field during their two trips to New Zealand, and were at the crease for over 97 hours (5848 minutes).

33 players had a bat against the Black Caps - led by Kumar Sangakkara's 575 runs, while 22 were chucked the ball, Dushmantha Chameera's 17 wickets the high mark.

On the other hand, New Zealand's players found the conditions expectedly more to their benefit, with Tim Southee and Trent Boult each taking 30 wickets, while Kane Williamson stroked 1233 runs at an average of 82.2.

All up, New Zealand scored 5,851 runs, bowled 6,920 deliveries and took 134 wickets over the two-trip span Sri Lanka embarked upon, additionally ruining the visitors' Christmas cheer on two occasions - winning the 2014 Boxing Day test by eight wickets, and the 2015 Boxing Day ODI by seven wickets.

The clashes have also caused many records to tumble.

Brendon McCullum welcomed the Sri Lankans with the fastest ever test century by a New Zealander, and Colin Munro and Martin Guptill waved them goodbye with the quickest Twenty 20 fifties.

In between, Kane Williamson and BJ Watling set a recently-broken sixth wicket record partnership in test cricket, while Grant Elliott and Luke Ronchi's ODI effort for the same wicket still stands.

Sri Lanka aren't on the Black Caps' cricketing calendar for the remainder of 2016, unless their paths cross at the Twenty 20 World Cup.

For their sake, it'd be best if the paths stay separated.

- NZ Herald

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