[caption id="attachment_778848" align="alignnone" width="628"]<a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/tom-latham.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-778848" alt="tom latham" src="https://www.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/tom-latham.jpg" width="628" height="355" /></a> Tom Latham (AFP Photo)[/caption] <p></p> <p></p>Opener <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/players/tom-latham">Tom Latham</a>'s unbeaten century put <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/teams/new-zealand/">New Zealand</a> in charge of the first Test against <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/teams/sri-lanka/">Sri Lanka</a> in Wellington on Sunday, as the Black Caps raced past the tourists' first-innings total and looked to build an imposing lead. <p></p> <p></p>Latham was 121 not out at stumps on day two with New Zealand cruising at 311 for two in reply to Sri Lanka's modest 282. <p></p> <p></p>It was a frustrating day for Sri Lanka's bowlers on a Basin Reserve pitch that transformed into a batters' paradise after wreaking havoc during the tourists' innings on day one. <p></p> <p></p>Black Caps skipper <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/players/kane-williamson/">Kane Williamson</a> narrowly missed out on his own century, falling for 91, and all New Zealand's batsmen got good starts, with Jeet Raval making 43 and Ross Taylor not out on 50. <p></p> <p></p>While the Sri Lanka attack worked hard, they could not build pressure and the two New Zealand wickets that fell were the result of rash shots from Raval and Williamson. <p></p> <p></p>That was not an issue for Latham, who meticulously crafted his seventh Test century from 219 balls and never looked rattled at the crease. <p></p> <p></p>He combined with Williamson for a 162-run partnership, laying the foundation for a huge total from a line-up that has eight wickets in hand and has plenty of batting to come. <p></p> <p></p>Coach Gary Stead New Zealand would look to turn the screws on day three. <p></p> <p></p>"Hopefully we can bat for a big chunk of tomorrow and we'll just bat once in the game, that's the plan," he said. <p></p> <p></p>"We'll try and make the most of these conditions as long as we can, then we'll see where we get to tomorrow afternoon and maybe have a wee bowl at them. <p></p> <p></p>"There's a lot of game to be played before then." <p></p> <p></p>Despite failing to reach triple figures, Williamson still has a remarkable record against Sri Lanka, with three centuries in seven Tests against them. <p></p> <p></p>That includes an unbeaten 242 at Wellington's Basin Reserve in 2015. <p></p> <p></p>Sri Lanka will be hoping for a dramatic New Zealand collapse on day three to salvage any hopes of a win. <p></p> <p></p>Earlier, they added just seven to their overnight total before Tim Southee coaxed an inside edge off Kumara to claim a six-wicket innings haul. <p></p> <p></p>Kumara's departure for a duck left Dickwella stranded on 80 not out after he led a rearguard action for Sri Lanka. <p></p> <p></p>Angelo Mathews and Dimuth Karunaratne were the only other batsmen to offer any meaningful resistance, notching 83 and 79 respectively and forging a 133-run partnership. <p></p> <p></p>Sri Lanka, ranked sixth in the world, have lost their last five Tests against New Zealand and suffered a 3-0 home Test series whitewash against England last month. <p></p> <p></p>They have faced upheaval in their coaching and selection ranks in recent weeks and arrived in New Zealand low on confidence. <p></p> <p></p>In contrast, the fourth-ranked Black Caps entered the two-match contest buoyed by their first away Test series win over Pakistan in 49 years.