Tom Latham “pretty proud” after scoring epic 264* on “a great day” at the Basin Reserve
Tom Latham leaves the field after his 694-minute knock. ©AFP

Tom Latham cut an exhausted figure after a historic day at Wellington’s iconic Basin Reserve, where he etched his name in New Zealand cricket history books by battling his way to a monumental unbeaten 264 off 489 balls against  Sri Lanka.

This is the second-highest score for a New Zealand Test opener, after Bryan Young’s unbeaten 267 scored against Sri Lanka in Dunedin in 1997. In batting his way to this epic double-century, the 26-year-old Latham followed 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.

ALSO READ: Latham records second highest Test score by a New Zealand opener

Latham is the fourth New Zealand opener to carry his bat through a completed Test innings, and came within one scoring shot of surpassing Young. He was left three runs short of matching the former opener’s 267* when the last man Trent Boult was dismissed to bring to a close New Zealand’s innings on 578.

His 694-minute effort helped the hosts to a lead of 296 over Sri Lanka, who are 20/3 at the end of the day.

“Pretty excited and pretty proud,” said Latham afterwards. “A great day that I probably thought would never happen. Really nice to be sitting here with those sort of numbers against your name.

ALSO READ: Latham fourth Kiwi opener to carry the bat through a completed innings

“A little bit tired but the adrenaline is still running through me. The best thing is you get a break every two hours. It’s important to get to certain stages of the game, whether that’s lunch or tea. The boys coming in managed to keep me going and kept me inside my gameplan which was probably the most pleasing.”

NEW ZEALAND OPENERS TO CARRY THEIR BATS:

Player Score Balls Opponents Venue Year
B Young 267* 422 Sri Lanka Dunedin 1997
T Latham 264* 489 Sri Lanka Wellington 2018
B Sutcliffe 230* India Delhi 1955
G Turner 223* West Indies Kingston 1972

Latham 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.

“Looking back in years to come that’s something I might think about but you don’t play the game for those sort of things. Down the line it’ll be something pretty cool,” said Latham.