WELLINGTON, March 20, 2023 (BSS/AFP) - Dhananjaya de Silva was on 98 not out after frustrating New Zealand's bowlers on Monday, as Sri Lanka dug in to reach 318-6 at tea on the fourth day of the second Test in Wellington.
De Silva sailed past the milestone of 3,000 Test runs and was on the verge of his 10th Test century as Sri Lanka reached tea 98 runs behind New Zealand, who have an innings in hand.
The visitors were made to follow on, having collapsed in the first innings for just 164. New Zealand had declared at 580 for four, with Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls both hitting double centuries.
New Zealand's seamers offered no respite in the first over of Monday as Matt Henry's delivery saw Williamson catch Kusal Mendis on 50.
The visitors were in danger of folding at 116-4 soon after when Angelo Mathews also walked having added just two runs from 44 balls.
De Silva came to the crease to resist New Zealand's pace attack in a partnership of 126 alongside Dinesh Chandimal in the first session.
De Silva raised his bat and took a hug from Chandimal after chalking up his half century.
The duet ended when Blair Tickner had Chandimal caught on 62 just before lunch.
Sri Lanka's wicketkeeper Nishan Madushka then put on 39 off 93 balls in his sixth-wicket partnership of 76 with De Silva before he was caught just before the tea break as Sri Lanka looked to take the Test to a fifth and final day.
A win at Wellington's Basin Reserve would hand New Zealand a series sweep.