Sun | Dec 11, 2016

NZ take 118-run lead

Published:Tuesday | January 6, 2015 | 12:00 AM

WELLINGTON (AP):

Kane Williamson made 80 and B.J. Watling 48 in an unbroken 94-run partnership that rallied New Zealand to a 118-run lead over Sri Lanka on the third day of the second Test. New Zealand were 253-5 at stumps, after trailing Sri Lanka by 135 runs on the first innings.

Nuwan Pradeep captured 3-57 to bowl the tourists into a winning position, but then dropped Williamson when he was on 60, giving New Zealand a break that could save the match.

Pradeep dismissed openers Hamish Rutherford (40) and Tom Latham (35) before lunch, then returned in the afternoon to remove Jimmy Neesham (19) when New Zealand were leading by only 24 runs and facing the prospect of a loss that would level the two-Test series.

Dhammika Prasad also claimed the vital scalp of New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who led the hosts to victory in the first Test in Christchurch with a sparkling first-innings total of 195 and had the potential to bat New Zealand back into a position of strength in the second Test. But McCullum was dismissed lbw to Prasad in the 47th over, leaving Williamson as New Zealand's last hope of achieving a substantial lead.

Williamson and Watling stayed together for the remaining 41 overs before stumps, negotiating the arrival of the second new ball to guide New Zealand toward a defensible total with two days of the match remaining.