Tom Latham records second highest Test score by a New Zealand opener
Tom Latham walks out after scoring 264 not out at the Basin Reserve. ©AFP

Tom Latham has on Monday registered the second best score by a New Zealand opener in Test cricket, batting his way to an unbeaten 264 off 489 balls on day four of the ongoing first Test against Sri Lanka at the Basin Reserve.

The 26-year-old converted his overnight 121 into a career-best innings to take the hosts to 578, and was left three runs short of matching Bryan Young’s 267 not out as the highest score by a New Zealand opener. The last man Trent Boult was dismissed for 11 of six balls, with Latham stranded on 264.

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That ended the home team’s innings on 578, a lead of 296 over Sri Lanka.

The former New Zealand opener Young scored an unbeaten 267 off 422 balls against Sri Lanka in Dunedin in 1997.

HIGHEST TEST SCORES BY A NEW ZEALAND OPENER:

Player Score Balls Opponents Venue Year
B Young 267* 422 Sri Lanka Dunedin 1997
T Latham 264* 489 Sri Lanka Wellington 2018
G Turner 259 759 West Indies Georgettown 1972
G Dowling 239 519 India Christchurch 1968
B Sutcliffe 230* India Delhi 1955
B McCullum 225 308 India Hyderabad 2010
G Turner 223* West Indies Kingston 1972
B McCullum 202 188 Pakistan Sharjah 2014

Latham reached his double-century off 412 balls, hitting 16 boundaries on the way, following Bert Sutcliffe (230*), Graham Dowling (239), Glenn Turner (259 and 223*), Young (267*) and Brendon McCullum (225 and 202) as the New Zealand Test openers to reach 200.

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He crossed 250 with a pull shot for two, and in the next over hit Dilruwan Perera for a four and six to move to 263. He added one more run before Boult was dismissed when he mistimed a slog.