Tom Latham played sedately for an unbeaten 72 © Getty Images
Tom Latham played sedately for an unbeaten 72 © Getty Images

After all the fight Sri Lanka showed with the bat on Day Two of the first Test against New Zealand at Dunedin, they surrendered meekly on the third day losing their way with the bat and then making no significant impact with the bowl. They started with an overnight score of 197 for 4 with Dinesh Chandimal batting unbeaten at 83. Unfortunately for them, Tim Southee dismissed Chandimal without him adding a run to the score which took the air out of Sri Lanka’s fight. Southee was quite fantastic with the new ball luring the batsmen into drives and taking the edge with swing. Live Cricket Scorecard: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2015-16, 1st Test at Dunedin

That is exactly how he got rid of Kithuruwan Vithanage. Milinda Siriwardana and Rangana Herath played the full length ball with relative ease which prompted the Kiwi bowlers to go short and it worked. Siriwardana had a waft at a short ball and nicked off to first slip in the process, getting out for a well made 35. Southee also employed the short ball and troubled Herath and even got him on the helmet with one. Eventually an attempted hook of Wagner got Herath’s dismissal. FULL UPDATES: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2015, 1st Test at Dunedin, Day 3

Trent Boult then claimed the wicket of Dushmantha Chameera and Mitchell Santner bagged his second victim of the innings in form Nuwan Pradeep. Sri Lanka’s innings was wrapped up for 294 and they would have been dissatisfied with their effort as they conceded a sizable first innings lead to the home side.

New Zealand were bursting with confidence as they walked out to bat in the second innings. Tom Latham and Martin Guptill looked in no rouble whatsoever even against the swinging ball. Latham played some silken drives while Guptill was more brutish in his look for boundaries. Runs came for New Zealand at a good rate. Guptill’s dismissal was a direct result of a misbehaviour by the pitch. He was done in by a ball that kept unplayably low from Herath after scoring 44.

In all honesty Sri Lanka’s fast bowlers bowled good lines with decent frequency but the Kiwi batsmen were just too buoyant to succumb to any of that. Kane Williamson was the next man in and he settled into a good partnership with Latham. Latham was seeing the ball very well and was middling drives away from the body even though there was some movement for the bowlers. He got past his fifty without any trouble whatsoever.

The runs came at an burgeoning rate for New Zealand and Sri Lanka resorted to a defensive field. Williamson was happy to knock the ball around for singles, while Latham continued to look for boundaries. The defensive field failed to control the run rate even as New Zealand’s lead continued to swell. Latham finished the day unbeaten at 72, while Williamson was unconquered two short of his fifty.

As it stands now, New Zealand look primed for a big win. Sri Lanka will have to dig in really deep to try and save the match whenever Brendon McCullum decides to declare on Day Four as seems the likely scenario.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 431 (Martin Guptill 156, Kane Williamson 88; Suranga Lakmal 2 for 69) and 171 for 1 (Tom Latham 72*, Kane Williamson 48*; Herath 1 for 39) lead Sri Lanka 294 (Karunaratne 84, Chandimal 83; Tim Southee 3 for 71) by 308 runs.

Full Scorecard

(Rishad D’Souza, a reporter with CricketCountry, gave up hopes of playing Test cricket after a poor gully-cricket career. He now reports on the sport. You can follow @RDcric on Twitter)