Sri Lankan bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake is overwhelmed by New Zealand opener Tom Latham's “exceptional and classy innings” in the first Test of the two-match series in Wellington.
The left-handed opener scored a record 264* runs against Sri Lanka to go past the previous record of most runs in an innings to carry his bat in the Test cricket held by Alastair Cook (244).
He also a stitched 162 runs stand with Captain Kane Williamson (91 off 93) to help New Zealand to finish with a sizeable total of 578 in their first innings against Sri Lanka in Wellington.
That stand reminded Ratnayake the historic stand between Martin Crowe and Andrew Jones in the longest format of the game, but he is highly impressed with Latham’s outstanding efforts with the bat.
Ratnayake told reporters on Monday about Latham’s knock, “The beauty was that he [Latham] scored 100 then started leaving the ball again, and didn't play any rash strokes. Only when he was 250 did he go over the top. That was a good lesson in itself. He showed maturity and it was an exceptional knock. It wasn't flamboyant but it was a classy inning.”
Noteworthy, Latham spent around more than 11 and a half hours at the crease, facing 489 deliveries in his 264 runs knock against Lanka, which showed the volumes of his resolve and fitness. There are only Brendon McCullum and Glenn Turner who have batted for a longer period than Latham in Tests.
On the other hand, the coach rued the Sri Lankan batsmen's inability to display similar discipline in Wellington, as they are now trailing by 37 runs in the second innings and they need to post a big total with remaining seven wickets to give a fight to the Black Caps in the first Test.
(With Cricbuzz Inputs)