Opener Tom Latham’s unbeaten century put New Zealand in charge of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Wellington on Sunday, as the Black Caps raced past the tourists’ first-innings total and looked to build an imposing lead.
Latham was 121 not out at stumps on day two with New Zealand cruising at 311 for two in reply to Sri Lanka’s modest 282.
It was a frustrating day for Sri Lanka’s bowlers on a Basin Reserve pitch that transformed into a batters’ paradise after wreaking havoc during the tourists’ innings on day one. Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson narrowly missed out on his own century, falling for 91, and all New Zealand’s batsmen got good starts, with Jeet Raval making 43 and Ross Taylor not out on 50. While the Sri Lanka attack worked hard, they could not build pressure and the two New Zealand wickets that fell were the result of rash shots from Raval and Williamson.
That was not an issue for Latham, who meticulously crafted his seventh Test century from 219 balls and never looked rattled at the crease. He combined with Williamson for a 162-run partnership, laying the foundation for a huge total from a line-up that has eight wickets in hand and has plenty of batting to come.
Brief scores: Sri Lankan 282 in 90 overs (Karunaratne 79, Mathews 83, Dickwella 80, Southee 6/68) vs New Zealand 311/2) in 84 overs (Raval 43, Latham 121, Williamson 91, Taylor 50).
From Online Sources