Worcestershire 2023 signing Michael Bracewell returned his best Test match bowling analysis with five wickets in the game as New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka by an innings and 58 runs at windswept Wellington.
The all-rounder sent down 32 overs on the fourth day and again showed his knack for picking up key wickets in dismissing top scorer Dhananjaya de Silva for 98.
Bracewell, who will play for the Rapids in this summer’s Vitality Blast, had also claimed the scalp of Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne after he had top-scored with 89 in the first innings.
He also accounted for Prabath Jayasuriya (2) today and ended with second-innings figures of 42-14-100-2 and conceded only 2.38 runs per over.
It gave Bracewell a match analysis of 56-15-150-5, and he has now taken 24 wickets in his eight Test appearances to date.
Bracewell also chipped in with two important catches as Sri Lanka, who had followed on 416 runs behind, showed much greater resistance before being bowled out for 358, spanning 10 hours in 142 overs.
Sri Lanka resumed on 113-2, and Bracewell was soon involved in the action, holding onto a fine head-high catch after Angelo Matthews attempted to pull a short ball from Blair Tickner.
He bowled a lengthy spell to help keep the Sri Lanka batters under control before striking in his 28th over.
Dhananja de Silva looked set for a century but then tried a paddle scoop against Bracewell and only succeeded in lofting the ball up to short leg.
There was more joy for Bracewell when Jayasuriya attempted to pull the off spinner and Tickner reacted sharply to take a diving catch at short fine leg.
Lahiru Kumara (7) nicked New Zealand captain Tim Southee to Bracewell at slip as the Black Caps went on to complete a 2-0 series win.