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Sri Lanka kicked off their ICC Test Championship, winning the first of the two-Test rubber against New Zealand in Galle by six wickets. Set to chase 268, Sri Lanka reached home with six wickets to win inside the first session. The hosts started the day 133 without loss and reached the final target without any hassle as skipper Dimuth Karunaratne led from the front with a match-winning 122.
Stats highlights from Sri Lanka's record chase in Galle
268 - The target of 268 chased down by Sri Lanka is the fifth-highest by them in fourth innings of a Test. Sri Lanka have been in good form of late when it comes down to fourth innings chases, with three of the four highest chases since 2016 being recorded by them.
Highest successful chases by Sri Lanka
Zero targets higher than 100 successfully chased down in fourth innings of a Test in Galle before this heist by the home side. The previous highest target chased down was 99 by Sri Lanka against Pakistan in 2014.
268 is the highest target successfully chased down against New Zealand in Tests in Asia. The previous highest was 261 by India in Bengaluru in 2012. New Zealand have set a target of 268 or higher nine times previously and ended up winning six and drawing three.
2 - The opening partnership of 161 between Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne is only the second 100-plus first-wicket stand for any team in fourth innings of a Test match played in Sri Lanka. The only other instance was in 1992 when Chandrika Hathurusingha and Roshan Mahanama put together 110 against Australia at Colombo RPS.
4 - This was just the fourth time Sri Lanka's openers accumulated 100-plus in the fourth innings of a Test. The pair of Karunaratne and Thirimanne eclipsed the 124-run stand between Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva against Pakistan in Dubai in 2014. This was the first time in 24 innings, Thirimanne was involved in a century opening partnership.
Highest opening stand for Sri Lanka in 4th innings
122 by Karunaratne is only the fourth occasion of a Sri Lankan opening batsman scoring a century in the fourth innings of a Test and it is the second highest score after Sanath Jayasuriya's 131 against Australia in Kandy in 2004. The previous highest for a Sri Lankan opening batsman in a successful run-chase was Jayasuriya's 73 against South Africa at the P Sara Oval in 2006.
Highest scores by Sri Lanka openers in 4th innings
3 - Karunaratne became the third Sri Lankan captain to win his first three Test matches in charge. Before this Test, he led Sri Lanka to their maiden series win in South Africa, earlier this year, with a 2-0 margin. Karunaratne emulated Rangana Herath and Suranga Lakmal as Sri Lanka's skippers with three wins from the first three Tests
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