Wellington: Kane Williamson brought up his ninth and arguably most important Test century on a rescue mission for New Zealand with BJ Watling in the second Test against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
Their stubborn partnership put on 166 valuable runs for the sixth wicket at the Basin Reserve in Wellington to have New Zealand at 325 for five in their second innings at lunch on day four.
They have extended New Zealand`s lead to 190 with Williamson not out 121 and Watling on 76 and nearing his fourth Test ton.
When Watling joined Williamson before tea on Monday, New Zealand were in deep trouble at 159-5, only 24 ahead. They have been together for nearly 68 overs since.
Williamson, who has offered up three chances in his innings, has moved up to sixth equal with Stephen Fleming on the all-time list of New Zealand century makers.
He was dropped on 29 and 60 on Monday and after resuming Tuesday on 80 he grafted his way to the century before getting a faint edge to Rangana Herath which wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene failed to hold.
Williamson`s 121 includes only eight fours, while Watling has seven in his chanceless innings as New Zealand fight to save the Test and ensure their third successive home series win,.
They won the first Test in Christchurch by eight wickets.