Latham scores first test ton in NZ, Sri Lanka need 405 to win

DUNEDIN: New Zealand declared their second innings closed at 267 for three before lunch on the fourth day of the first test in Dunedin on Sunday, setting Sri Lanka a victory target of 405 runs.


Tom Latham scored his first test century on home soil before captain Brendon McCullum declared the innings after hitting his second six, which tied him with former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist with 100 career sixes, the most in test cricket.

A hailstorm then brought an early lunch with Sri Lanka 4-0 in their pursuit for the target, with Dimuth Karunaratne having scored the runs.

Latham, whose previous two test centuries were scored in the United Arab Emirates last year against Pakistan, was left on 109 not out with McCullum on 17.

The only wickets to fall in the early session were those of Kane Williamson, when he was bowled by Dushmantha Chameera for 71 having shared in a 141-run second wicket partnership with Latham, and Ross Taylor, bowled by Rangana Herath for 15.

Both were out attempting to force the pace of the innings.

New Zealand held a 137 run first innings lead after they bowled Sri Lanka out for 294, though the tourists demonstrated their ability to occupy the crease as the hosts needed 117 overs to dismiss their inexperienced lineup.

Latham had resumed on 71 and had some luck on 73 when he nicked a Nuwan Pradeep delivery but the ball flew between wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal and Karunaratne, who was standing at a wide first slip.

He also got a thin edge from a Lakmal delivery when on 83 only for the ball to fall short of Chandimal, while on 97 he survived a confident lbw appeal and a review against Herath.

Umpire Richard Kettlebrough ruled he had got a thin edge before the ball struck his pad and ran away for two runs, with television umpire Paul Reiffel unable to determine whether there was any evidence to overturn the decision.

Latham then flicked a single off Herath two balls later to bring up his third test century.

Williamson, who passed the 1,000 test runs mark for 2015 on Saturday, resumed on 48 and wasted little time in achieving his 17th test half century, tucking the second delivery of the day's play from Suranga Lakmal off his hip for two runs.