Declaration was risky – McCullum

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said he took a calculated risk with his declaration as it paid off with a win over Sri Lanka in the first Test.

The Kiwis claimed a 122-run win at University Oval in Dunedin on Monday to take a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series.

McCullum had set the tourists 405 to win after declaring earlier than most expected, giving Sri Lanka more than five sessions in their chase.


The 34-year-old said the weather – rain disrupted day four – and his desire to get a result were behind his decision.

“Sometimes you have to risk losing to win,” McCullum told Sky Sport NZ.

“We felt that we needed enough time to be able to bowl Sri Lanka out and if the weather had come into play a little bit more today as well then we would’ve desperately needed that time.

“We had a bit of an eye to that, but you don’t want to bank on the weather as well.

“In the end you’ve got to back your bowlers to do the job and I thought the way that they went about it was outstanding.”

Tim Southee (3-52), Mitchell Santner (2-53), Neil Wagner (2-56) and Trent Boult (2-58) were New Zealand’s multiple wicket-takers in the second innings.

McCullum said removing Angelo Mathews (25) and Dinesh Chandimal (58) was crucial.

“Angelo and Chandimal are two world-class batters, and we knew that they were going to be key today. We knew we had to spend some resource to keep them out,” he said.

“There were concerns because the wicket was so flat today.”

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