NZ vs SL: NZ takes commanding 310-run lead over Sri Lanka in 2nd testWellington, New Zealand: Kane Williamson and B.J. Watling batted New Zealand back into the second cricket test against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, combining for an unbroken 286-run partnership to give the hosts a commanding 310-run
Wellington, New Zealand: Kane Williamson and B.J. Watling batted New Zealand back into the second cricket test against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, combining for an unbroken 286-run partnership to give the hosts a commanding 310-run lead at tea on the fourth day.
Williamson and Watling transformed the match in a record sixth-wicket partnership that had lasted 415 minutes by tea, guiding New Zealand to 445-5 after the hosts' top order collapsed a day earlier. New Zealand is aiming to sweep the two-match series after winning the first test by eight wickets in Christchurch.
Williamson made 190 and Watling 118 at tea.
Just as Kumar Sangakkara had tipped the match in Sri Lanka's favor with his 203 in the first innings, Watling and Williamson swung the match back in favor of the home side.
The last New Zealand batsman to fall was Jimmy Neesham in the 61st over — six overs before tea on the third day.
The highest winning run chase in the fourth innings of a test at the Basin Reserve was Pakistan's 277 in 2003, and Sri Lanka will have to break new ground to beat that mark and save the series.
Williamson's performance on Tuesday was a feat of concentration and of technique. Though he was nearly dismissed at 60 when he was dropped at fine leg by Nuwan Pradeep, he succeeded in blunting the threat of the Sri Lanka bowlers who once had New Zealand on 122-4.
By tea, he had been at the wicket since the 27th over of the New Zealand innings, when it was 75-1, and had batted 556 minutes. The 24-year-old went to the break only two runs short of his highest test score of 192, which he made against Pakistan in the third test in the United Arab Emirates in November.
Watling's century ended a dry spell for the South African-born wicketkeeper. He made his most-recent century (124) against India last February and has only twice passed 50 in 12 innings since then. He had previous scores of 26 and 11 in the current series.
Spinner Rangana Herath had bowled 52 overs by tea, and had 1-128.