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Williamson joins 1000 club as New Zealand stretches lead

The home side ends day three at 171 for 1, a lead of 308, against Sri Lanka in Dunedin

Williamson joins 1000 club as New Zealand stretches lead
 - Cricket News
Kane Williamson joined the elite 1000 runs-a-year club.

New Zealand made significant strides by the end of the third day’s play in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Dunedin, stretching its lead to 308 runs at the University Oval on Saturday (December 12).

Sri Lanka was bowled out for 294, a deficit of 137 runs, in its first innings, before New Zealand ended the day at 171 for 1, with Tom Latham (72) and Kane Williamson (46) accompanying each other at the close. 

During the course of his unbeaten 82-ball knock, Williamson joined the elite 1000 runs-a-year club, bringing up the milestone in style by driving Rangana Herath to the mid-off boundary. England's Alastair Cook and Joe Root, and Australia's David Warner and Steve Smith are the only other players to achieve the milestone in 2015. Williamsons boasts the best average of the lot with 94.54.

After Tim Southee (3 for 71) and Neil Wagner (3 for 87) helped nip out the six wickets needed to end the Sri Lanka's innings, Guptill and Latham set about building New Zealand's advantage. The two added a quick 79 for the first wicket when Guptill – dropped on 19 by Kusal Mendis earlier – had his stumps disturbed by Herath for an 82-ball 46.

Sri Lanka couldn’t capitalise though. Latham went on to post his seventh Test half-century with a single off Milinda Siriwardana as he added an unbroken 92 with Williamson, who hit five fours to end the day two runs short of a half-century.

In the morning, Sri Lanka was dealt a blow when, resuming the day at 197 for 4, it lost the crucial wicket of Dinesh Chandimal (83), Southee claiming the scalp. Thereafter, the New Zealand bowlers chipped away every now and then, not allowing the batsmen to settle. Southee struck again in his next over when he had Kithuruwan Vithanage caught behind for 22.

Siriwardana and Herath defied New Zealand with a stubborn 43-run stand for the seventh wicket, but the association was broken when Siriwardana edged Neil Wagner to Ross Taylor at first slip. Herath, who had taken a hard blow to the head, was then dismissed for a 74-ball 15.

The innings ended when Mitchell Santner, the legspinner, had Pradeep caught behind to give BJ Watling, the wicketkeeper, his sixth catch of the innings.

Click here to view the full scorecard.

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