Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews both made unbeaten centuries as Sri Lanka repelled the New Zealand bowling attack on a wicketless day four in Wellington.
An impressive 264 not out from Tom Latham and three quick wickets for the Kiwis with the ball gave New Zealand hope of wrapping up the first Test with time to spare.
However, having started the penultimate day on 20 for three and still needing another 276 to make their hosts bat again, Mendis (116 not out) and Mathews (117no) guided Sri Lanka to 259 for three at stumps.
The tourists still trail by 37 runs but, with seven wickets still standing, they have given themselves a fighting chance of saving the Test.
Matthews started the day on four and his team-mate six after Sri Lanka’s top-order collapse late on Monday, but they forged a strong partnership to dominate the morning session.
The afternoon continued in a similar vein, with Mendis reaching his 100 just after tea with a pull that raced away fine for four.
Six overs later, the partnership reached 200 before Mathews too brought up three figures with a clip to the boundary – the all-rounder celebrating his ninth Test ton by dropping to the ground and doing 10 push-ups – as New Zealand’s attacking options were stonewalled.
By the end of day their unbroken stand had reached 246 and they will be hoping to continue to frustrate the Black Caps for as long as they can on the final day. (Courtesy the Telegraph)