Sri Lanka 282 and 259 for 3 (Mendis 116*, Mathews 117*) trail New Zealand 578 by 37 runs …… On day four in Wellington, facing a monumental first-innings deficit, and in what seemed like a hopeless match situation, Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews went to the trenches. They absorbed New Zealand’s many attacks. They delivered a few glancing blows of their own. They made a hundred apiece, and for only the 22nd time in the history of Test cricket, they batted out an entire day without losing a wicket.

Their partnership – 577 balls in – is worth 246. It is easily Sri Lanka’s best against New Zealand, and has allowed the visitors to go into the fifth day of an intriguing Test with a fighting chance of securing a draw. They are still 37 runs away from making New Zealand bat again, but will be buoyed no doubt by the weather forecast, which suggests rain will arrive around mid-day, if not before.