WELLINGTON: Aggressive double centuries for Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls powered New Zealand’s dominance within the second Test in opposition to Sri Lanka on Saturday.
The Black Caps declared their first innings at an imposing 580-Four earlier than lowering Sri Lanka to 26-2 at stumps on day two, leaving the vacationers with a really slim prospect of squaring the two-match sequence.
The in-form Williamson scored 215 and Nicholls posted a career-best 200 not out, with the pair’s third-wicket stand of 363 nearly batting Sri Lanka out of the competition.
Their partnership was the fifth-highest by any New Zealand mixture they usually grew to become the nation’s first batters to reach 200 in the identical innings.
Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne will resume on 16 on Sunday and nightwatchman Prabath Jayasuriya stays on 4, with the deficit a frightening 554 runs.
Sri Lanka’s bowlers struggled to generate life on a flat Basin Reserve pitch, forcing Karunaratne to set defensive fields throughout a lot of the mammoth partnership.
Williamson and Nicholls batted at a lively clip from the outset, advancing rapidly from a 155-2 in a single day rating and barely wanting troubled as they unleashed an array of attacking strokes by means of the primary two periods.
Williamson was impenetrable as he reached three figures for the third time in successive Tests, turning into the primary New Zealander to cross 8,000 runs within the course of.
It was a sixth double-century for the 32-year-old — whose unbeaten 121 was pivotal in a final-ball first Test in Christchurch earlier this week.
Having resumed on 26, Williamson struck 23 fours and two sixes earlier than holing out within the deep off spinner Jayasuriya as he tried to escalate the scoring charge.
Nicholls marched on from his in a single day 18 to reach three figures earlier than pushing previous his previous-best rating of 174.
His aggressive 240-ball knock, which featured 4 sixes, represented a exceptional return to type for the left-hander, whose place within the workforce was below strain after failing to reach 40 in his 15 earlier innings.
Nicholls stated he was conscious of criticism of his ongoing choice however stated he was made to really feel comfy by assist from his teammates and coach Gary Stead.
“Everyone in the group’s been great and you really feel that support,” he stated.
“For me, it was nearly trusting that I had performed it earlier than. It hasn’t occurred as a lot as I’d like within the final interval.
“Now the challenge is doing it again knowing that the blueprint is there.”
Nicholls in contrast the partnership with a 369-run stand with Williamson in opposition to Pakistan in Christchurch two years in the past.
“The way Kane’s playing, he’s in a real zone out there. It was nice to make that partnership into another really big one.”
Kasun Rajitha, who was off the sphere for a interval nursing a shoulder harm, lodged the very best bowling figures of 2-126.
Sri Lanka spinner Dhananjaya de Silva stated the vacationers have been responsible of permitting the double centurions an excessive amount of leeway.
“Obviously Kane and Henry batted very well. We have to be at our best when we’re facing these players but we missed our lengths,” he stated.
De Silva stated Sri Lanka hadn’t given up on squaring the sequence though he conceded it is going to be very tough to pressure a victory.
“We’re not enjoying for a draw, we’re enjoying for a win.
“So we have to bat for at least one and a half days. We’ll see what will happen,” he stated.
Their response started poorly.
Matt Henry eliminated opener Oshada Fernando for six earlier than fellow-seamer Doug Bracewell dismissed Kusal Mendis with out scoring through a spectacular catch at level from Devon Conway.
It got here from Bracewell’s third ball of the match in what’s his first Test look for greater than six years.
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