New Zealand edge towards victory in first Test against Sri Lanka

Tom Latham of New Zealand bats during day three of the 2nd Test match between New Zealand and India at the Basin Reserve on February 16, 2014
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New Zealand are closing in on victory in the first Test of their series against Sri Lanka as they need seven wickets to defeat the tourists on the final day at Dunedin.

New Zealand need seven wickets on the final day of the first Test to defeat Sri Lanka in Dunedin.

The Kiwis began the day on 171-1 with Tom Latham (72*) and Kane Williamson (48*) at the crease and with a lead of over 300 runs over the tourists.

Williamson brought up his half-century to continue his fine form in 2015, recording the 17th fifty of his Test career.

The hosts edged past the 200-run mark to extend their lead, but Williamson was to fall for 71, ending his 141-run partnership with Latham.

However, the opener was not deterred by the loss of Williamson as he powered on and notched the third Test century of his career as the Kiwis upped their run-rate.

Ross Taylor departed for a quick-fire 15, while Brendon McCullum blasted two sixes in his brief innings before the skipper opted to declare on 267-3, leaving Sri Lanka to chase 405 runs to win the game.

Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis made a solid start to the reply as they saw off the threat of the new ball from Trent Boult and Tim Southee before passing the 50-run mark.

However, Southee returned to the attack to dismiss Karunaratne for 29 when he was caught behind by BJ Watling, while Neil Wagner then removed Udara Jayasundera.

Mendis continued to thwart the Kiwis with his stoic strokeplay along with Dinesh Chandimal, but the opener was to fall four runs short of his half-century when he edged behind a delivery from Southee into the gloves of Watling.

Immediately after the Mendis's dismissal, hail thrashed down at the University Oval bringing a premature end to the fourth day.

Sri Lanka require another 256 runs to win the match, while New Zealand need just seven wickets on the final day.

Ross Taylor of New Zealand celebrates after scoring a century during day three of the Third Test match between New Zealand and the West Indies at Seddon Park on December 21, 2013
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