Rain set to ruin Black Caps' shot a victory

Tom Latham finished 264 not out as New Zealand were bowled out for 578

Tom Latham finished 264 not out as New Zealand were bowled out for 578

Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews celebrated with push-ups on the pitch after joining Kusal Mendis in passing 100 Tuesday as the pair batted the whole day without losing a wicket to offer the tourists hope of an unlikely first Test draw in Wellington.Mendis was 116 not out at stumps on day four and Mathews 117, with their record-breaking unbroken 246-run partnership setting a Sri Lankan record against New Zealand.It was also the first time in New Zealand that a full day's play has been completed without a Test wicket falling and the first time anywhere since South Africa achieved the feat against Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2008.

Tom Latham finished 264 not out as New Zealand were bowled out for 578.

The 30-year-old claimed three wickets in his first two overs, and did it with a superb mix of pitched-up bowling - removing Danushka Gunathilaka with an inswinger, and Dhananjaya de Silva with a handsome outswinger.

But the day belonged to Latham, who added steadily to his overnight total of 121, offering no chances to the frustrated Sri Lankans.

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Mathews, 31, who top-scored for Sri Lanka with 83 in the first innings, eked out his ninth Test century off 248 balls, while Mendis brought up his sixth Test ton off 215 deliveries.

Latham said he always believed he was capable of producing such a performance but it was pleasing to achieve it on the global stage.

"These innings don't come around too often, so you have to enjoy the moment when they do", said Latham.

Lahiru Kumara was the pick of a Sri Lanka attack that struggled on a flat wicket, taking four for 127.

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"The plan was to bat out a lot of balls, rather than focus on run-scoring", he said through an interpreter.

They have faced upheaval in their coaching and selection ranks in recent weeks and arrived in New Zealand low on confidence.

That's No 6: Sri Lanka's Kusal Mendis celebrates his century against the Black Caps in the first test.

The New Zealanders are looking for a fourth straight Test series win after also defeating England and the West Indies in the past 12 months.

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