Kusal Mendis and Anglelo Mathews in second best fourth-wicket stand for Sri Lanka
Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis put on 246 to deny New Zealand. © AFP

The pair of Kusal Mendis and Angelo Matthews have fashioned the second best stand for the fourth wicket in Sri Lanka s history while boosting the visiting team s hopes of avoiding an innings defeat against New Zealand Tuesday.

From an overnight 20/3 at the Basin Reserve, Sri Lanka ended day four on 259/3 with Mendis (116*) and Mathews (117*) having extended their stand for the fourth wicket to 246 while denying New Zealand a wicket across three sessions.

Their partnership has spanned 95.4 overs and is the second best in Sri Lankan history.

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This exceptional alliance slots in behind the 437 runs that former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera put on against Pakistan in Karachi during the 2009 tour. Mendis and Mathews eclipsed the unbeaten 240 compiled by Asanka Gurusinha and Arjuna Ranatunga against Pakistan in Colombo in 1986 to occupy second place in Sri Lanka s all-time partnership list for the fourth wicket.

Overall, this stand currently sits at 12th for all Sri Lankan partnerships.

From conceding a lead of 296 to New Zealand on day three, with Tom Latham scoring a monumental unbeaten 264, Sri Lanka have gotten to within 37 runs of erasing the deficit.