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One win and top of the standings - The Black Caps' valuable win

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 27 Aug 2019, 12:16PM

One win and top of the standings - The Black Caps' valuable win

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 27 Aug 2019, 12:16PM

One test win and the Black Caps are (joint) on top of the world.

Kane Williamson's side pulled off an impressive innings and 65-run victory over Sri Lanka in Colombo after bowling the home side out for 122 in the final session.

Read match report - Black Caps take down Sri Lanka with last-session victory in thrilling test

The victory secured a drawn series and more importantly put New Zealand on the board in terms of the ICC World Test Championship. 60 points to be exact which sees them join India and Sri Lanka as the early leaders.

There has already been some angst in British circles that England and Australia are duking it out over five tests but each win is worth less than New Zealand's yesterday.

The current table looks like this:

To ensure teams that play more games don't have an advantage the ICC have made it so that a maximum of 120 points are on offer in any series, whether it is just two matches or five.

That means in the Ashes, a five-test series, each team gets 24 points for a win and eight for a draw.

In a three-test series, each win is worth 40 points, and 60 in a two-test series.

India, New Zealand and Sri Lanka all sit in 60 points however India play West Indies in the second and final test of their series starting Friday NZT. After a convincing 318-run win in the opening match, Virat Kohli's side look odds on to move 60 points clear of the field.

Despite that brilliant Ben Stokes-led victory at Headingley, England sit in fifth.

Sri Lanka's captain Dimuth Karunaratne and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson pose with the trophy following their two test match series. Photo / AP
Sri Lanka's captain Dimuth Karunaratne and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson pose with the trophy following their two test match series. Photo / AP

"Have you ever heard of a funnier, more farcical points-scoring system, in any walk of life?," the Telegraph's Scyld Berry wrote after Sri Lanka earned 60 points for a win over New Zealand in the first test while England and Australia split eight each for a draw at Lord's last week.

"Any objective observer would surely say that both Australia and England deserved a lot of credit - and points - for the way they fought between the showers at Lord's," he added.

"For certain, nothing damages Test cricket - nothing reduces its profile - like a two-Test series. Because if it is a two-Test series, it proclaims to the world: This does not matter. One team flies in, plays a warm-up (or not in New Zealand's case), gets rolled over in the opening Test - surprise, surprise, after not acclimatising - and departs after the second. By the time most people are aware that the series has started, it is over.

"Most of the series in the new World Test Championship will consist of two Tests. So it looks at this stage like a self-defeating exercise which will only reduce further the popularity of Test cricket."

England will play 22 matches and Australia 19 in the Test Championship window which runs until June 2021. The Black Caps and Sri Lanka will play the fewest - 13.

New Zealand also won't play England or South Africa in the window.

So it might be the first time you hear complaints about the system but it probably won't be the last if New Zealand look set to reach the World Test Championship final at Lord's in June, 2021.

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