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Twitter Reactions: Tom Latham’s stupendous effort floors Sri Lanka

Latham scored a massive 264 runs and carried his bat.

Tom Latham
Tom Latham. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

New Zealand end the third day of the ongoing first Test against Sri Lanka ensuring that they will close out the game halfway through the fourth day. On a pitch where Tom Latham blunted the ball for close to 700 minutes and carried his bat, Sri Lanka’s top-order couldn’t handle a tricky period. They lost three quick wickets just before the stumps and have their backs against the wall now.

With the pitch flattened out, they would’ve thought that the openers will go unscathed in the 12 overs which they had to bat. But Trent Boult struck in his second over to pin Danushka Gunathilaka in front of the stumps and the latter wasted the review as well. Tim Southee then worked his magic to castle Dhananjaya de Silva and then stun Dimuth Karunaratne to leave Sri Lanka reeling at 13/3 again.

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Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews somehow survived the remaining overs to end the day on 20/3 and are still behind by 276 runs to avoid an innings defeat.

Latham’s double century highlights the day

Earlier in the day, Ross Taylor was dismissed off the very second delivery thanks to a stunning reflex catch from Karunaratne at short leg. However, this was the only success in the morning for the visitors. Henry Nicholls came out and batted with authority to score a half-century even as Tom Latham did his usual thing of batting time. But Nicholls was soon sent back by Dilruwan Perera.

The wicket though was just a consolation for the tourists with Colin de Grandhomme also having fun out in the middle. Nicholls, at the other end, was playing some exquisite strokes to notch up his 150. He added 73 runs with De Grandhomme and got close to his maiden double hundred. Without much fuss, the left-hander got to the milestone as well and then started playing his shots fearlessly.

Soon Latham crossed the 250-run mark as well and there were no declaration signs from Kane Williamson. The tail kept swinging the bat to take the lead close to 300. Trent Boult also did the same and was dismissed eventually by Lahiru Kumara who bowled his heart out to pick four wickets. But the total lead was extended to 296 runs as the Kiwis were bundled out for 578 runs. Latham carried his bat remaining unbeaten on 264 with 21 fours and a six.

It is only a matter of time now before New Zealand will win this game on the fourth day unless Mathews or Chandimal achieve the unthinkable in Wellington.

Here’s how Twitter reacted:

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