No doubt buoyed by their recent Test series win away to Pakistan, New Zealand took a firm grip on day two of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Wellington, with Tom Lathan and Kane Williamson sharing what could prove to be a match-defining 161-run stand.
Lahiru Kumara lasted only eight balls in the morning before Tim Southee got the edge and Colin de Grandhomme took a stunning catch at leg gully to end the Sri Lanka innings on 282 off 90 overs.
Niroshan Dickwella ended unbeaten on 80 off just 101 balls (11×4), with Southee claiming his eighth five-for in Tests as he finished with 6-68.
Jeet Raval got the innings off to a good start, dominating an opening stand of 59 with Tom Latham, Ravel being caught behind by Dickwella off Lahiru Kumara for 40 off 70 balls, with six fours.
Latham and Kane Williamson then put on 162 for the second wicket off just 220 balls, with Williamson doing the bulk of the scoring in a quickfire innings. Williamson missed out on his 20th Test ton when he toe-ended a sweep to backward square leg, where Kasun Rajitha took the catch off Dhananjaya de Silva.
Williamson’s 91 came off just 93 balls with 10 fours and took New Zealand’s score up to 221.
Latham went to his seventh Test century off 219 balls (8×4) as he added an unbroken 90 runs with Ross Taylor, who went to his 30th Test half-century just before the close of day two.
New Zealand will start day three 29 runs ahead of Sri Lanka with eight first-innings wickets in hand as they look to build a huge total from which to bowl Sri Lanka out in the last two days. Latham will continue his marathon innings tomorrow morning on 121 (256 balls, 11×4), with Taylor alongside him on 50 off 86 balls (5×4).
It was a long day in the field for Sri Lanka, with De Silva (1-30) and Kumara (1-78) the only Sri Lankans to taste success with the ball.
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