The <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/teams/new-zealand/">New Zealand</a> opener <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/players/tom-latham/news/">Tom Latham</a> on Sunday scored his seventh Test hundred to steer the home team to 311/2 in reply to Sri Lanka's 282, and at the end of the second day's play at the Basin Reserve he happily thanked his skipper for getting him into top gear. <p></p> <p></p><a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/players/kane-williamson/news/">Kane Williamson </a>dominated a second-wicket partnership of 162 with 91 off 93 balls, out-scoring Latham who contributed 67 in that stand. Williamson's aggressive innings allowed Latham to convert a watchful start - Jeet Raval made 43 of the 59-run opening stand - into an innings of substance, which he thanked him for. <p></p> <p></p><strong>ALSO READ: </strong><a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/news/new-zealand-vs-sri-lanka-2018-latham-ton-puts-new-zealand-in-charge-of-first-sri-lanka-test-778846">Tom Latham ton puts New Zealand in charge of first Test</a> <p></p> <p></p>"At the start of my innings, I wasn't playing that quickly, but the way Jeet Raval played and the way Kane came and played - that took the game to the opposition and kept the scoreboard ticking over," Latham said after stumps. "It was good for me. I could just keep going. The most important thing we talk about was making those partnerships big ones, and I managed to get a good one with Kane." <p></p> <p></p><strong><a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/series/sri-lanka-in-new-zealand-2018-200955/live-scores/new-zealand-vs-sri-lanka-live-cricket-score-1st-test-match-187351-summary.html" target="_blank">SCORECARD: NEW ZEALAND vs SRI LANKA, 1st TEST</a></strong> <p></p> <p></p>Williamson narrowly missed his 20th Test hundred when he was out sweeping, but that alliance with Latham topped the scales in New Zealand's favour. Latham reached 121 off 256 balls - a strike-rate of 47 - and with Ross Taylor (508) he has added 90. <p></p> <p></p>"Kane came out and hit the ball fantastically well - I guess he's a world-class player and is hitting the ball unbelievably well in all conditions," said Latham. "You look at some of the shots he plays - from ball one - those early boundaries set the tempo for his innings and he kept doing that. He's a fantastic player and one to get a few more tips off. When guys are going like that it's almost easier to give them the strike and let them do their thing." <p></p> <p></p>For Latham, this is a welcome hundred. He managed two fifties in his previous nine innings and had not managed a century since January 2017. During the 2-1 series win against Pakistan in the UAE recently, Latham averaged 16.5 with a solitary half-century. <p></p> <p></p>"The slow start was about trying to get them to bowl to me as much as possible. Coming from the UAE where the conditions were a lot different, it was important for me to try and wait to score when the ball was a lot straighter, or when it was shorter or fuller," he said. <p></p> <p></p>"I didn't have the results I wanted in the UAE, but I felt like I was hitting the ball alright. The biggest thing was the trust in my own game, and the trust that I can do it at this level. It's been a while since I made a big score, but it was nice that I managed to do that straightaway."