Latham ton drives NZ reply against Sri Lanka

Colombo: A sparkling century by Tom Latham powered New Zealand’s first innings reply after Sri Lanka posted 244 on day three of the rain-hit second Test in Colombo on Saturday. Latham, on 111, put together an unbeaten 70-run stand with B J Watling, on 25, to thwart the Sri Lankan bowling attack that had made early inroads into the Kiwi batting. The tourists were 196 for four at stumps, still trailing Sri Lanka by 48 runs. Earlier, Dhananjaya de Silva made 109 to lift Sri Lanka after they resumed the day on 144 for six following their decision to bat first.

But Latham made the day his own as he registered his 10th Test hundred — fourth against Sri Lanka — to hold the New Zealand innings after they lost key wickets including skipper Kane Williamson for 20. Latham combined the right dose of caution and aggression as he hit 10 boundaries in his 184-ball stay at the wicket so far. Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera opened the bowling for Sri Lanka and claimed two wickets, dismissing opener Jeet Raval, for nought, and Henry Nicholls, for 15. Paceman Suranga Lakmal sent Williamson trudging back to the pavilion after the batsman edged an away-going delivery to be caught at second slip. — AFP