The SKY commentators were onto it in the first over, and never really gave up on it.
And then the doyen spoke
In the test in sunny conditions in Wellington NZ are batting now v SLanka and Jeet Raval is looking good at 20 not out. Things are looking good for him for a big score today. You read it here first!
— Keith Quinn (@KeithQuinn88) December 15, 2018
There were scares along the way. On 30 he tried hooking Kumara in his first over, caught the glove, but Dickwella couldn’t quite get there in time.
And on the last ball before lunch he played a shot he won’t remember fondly, and he was out in the first ball he faced once passing 40.
There is a bit of Stephen Fleming nostalgia about all of this growing expectation. Tune in when New Zealand bats next and you can relive it all again.
Once Williamson came out and scored boundaries off his first three deliveries the conversation turned to whether he or Latham would get to 50 first, and then who would get to 100 first. And everyone assumed that a Williamson century was virtually a lock-in.
But enter part-time spinner Dhananjaya de Silva (test average of over 80 at the time) and Williamson toe-ended a sweep to backward square. This was totally in keeping with the way the Sri Lankan top scorers yesterday.
This was like MD Crowe falling to Ranatunga on 299 all those years ago. The dismissal was met with a stunned silence from the crowd.
Only Williamson could score at a Strike Rate of close 100 and you never really noticed he was scoring quickly.
During all this Latham was quietly compiling a century of his own. This was a quality opener’s innings; he left the risky shots, even his beloved sweep, in the shed and only really attacked the loose balls. And he didn’t switch off after he brought up his hundred.
While Williamson’s cover drive is rightly lauded as a thing of beauty, Latham’s ones aren’t that bad either
This was Latham’s first test century since his highest score of 177 here against Bangladesh 12 tests ago. He now has seven test centuries; that same as Turner, Jones and Congdon.
Meanwhile Ross Taylor, now New Zealand’s 2nd highest run scorer in tests, has another test 50 and looked really good. Tomorrow the expectations go on him; potentially passing MD Crowe for number of test centuries and all that.
Oh, and New Zealand is in a very strong position. And why did Angelo Mathews bowl only four overs?