New Zealand have enforced the follow-on at the Basin Reserve this afternoon after dismissing Sir Lanka for 164 in reply to the home side’s mammoth first innings total of 580.
The visitors, perhaps still shocked by the nature of their narrow defeat in the first Test at Hagley Oval, still require 416 to make the Black Caps bat again.
It meant two New Zealand batters, Kane Williamson (215) and Henry Nicholls (200 not out), each scored more than Sri Lanka’s first innings total.
Dimuth Karunaratne top scored with 89 before holing out to Tom Latham off the bowling of Michael Bracewell.
Indeed, spinner Bracewell was rarely out of the action on sunny conditions during the first few sessions on the third day in Wellington. He took 3-50 off 12 overs and executed a fine run out with Latham’s assistance to dismiss Kasun Rajitha.
Matt Henry took 3-44 off 20 overs, including the wicket of veteran Angelo Mathews, who scored a century in Christchurch last weekend.
The significance of the follow on at the Basin Reserve is difficult to miss – coming as it does only weeks after New Zealand’s stunning victory there over England after English captain Ben Stokes asked the Black Caps to bat again after his team compiled a mammoth first innings total.
In that case the Black Caps batted superbly in the second innings, with Kane Williamson scoring a century and the English contrived to lose the Test by the narrowest of margins after Neil Wagner had tail ender Jimmy Anderson caught behind off the final ball of the match.
It is difficult to imagine Sir Lanka responding in the same way.