A world-record stand for the sixth-wicket between Kane Williamson and BJ Watling has put New Zealand in a strong position to win the second Test match against Sri Lanka.
Starting the day 253/5, Williamson (242*) and Watling (142*) added a further 271 runs before declaring at 524/5 leading by 389 runs.
The 365* stand set by the pair beat the previous record, also held by New Zealand, of 352, against India in February 2014. Watling incidentally was part of that stand too alongside Brendon McCullum.
Sri Lanka simply could not find a breakthrough but finally, after 172 overs, the home side declared and sent the Sri Lankans back into bat for the final session of the day, needing 390 for victory.
The tourists very nearly got through to the close of play unscathed, but Dimuth Karunaratne succumbed to temptation spooning a delivery from Mark Craig straight to mid-off where he was caught and departed for 17.
Nightwatchman Dhammika Prasad was sent in and managed to see out the final few overs. Sri Lanka closed the fourth day on 45/1, with Prasad at the crease alongside Kaushal Silva, who is 20 not out of 49 balls.
Going into the fifth day New Zealand will be big favourites to complete a series whitewash, requiring nine wickets for victory but with Kumar Sangakkara playing in what could be his final Test match innings could the veteran produce some magic to get his side over the line?
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