Earlier on day three, a Tom Latham ton had helped New Zealand reach a commanding 196-4 at stumps in reply to Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 244.
Sri Lanka did well to post that total after being reduced to 130-6 at one stage but an excellent ton from all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva helped the hosts recover from that precarious spot.
The hosts currently lead the two-match series 1-0 after six-wicket win in Galle and will be looking to hold firm in the remaining two days of play at Colombo. Can New Zealand force a win and level the series?
Follow the ball-by-ball action from Colombo below to find out.
Babar Azam’s superb run in the Vitality T20 Blast continued on Saturday with the Pakistan batsman registering another explosive fifty to help Somerset beat Glamorgan by 25 runs.
A 42-ball 63 from Babar helped Somerset post 177-8 in their 20 overs at Taunton before Glamorgan were bowled out for 152 in their reply.
Opening the batting along with Tom Banton, Babar struck seven boundaries and one six during his entertaining stay at the crease before finally perishing in the 16th over of the innings.
It was the fourth half-century of the tournament for the right-handed batsman who continues to lead the run-scoring charts with 541 runs to his name in 11 innings at an average over 60.
The Pakistan man is more than 100 runs ahead of his next competitor and fellow Somerset opener Banton who has scored 440 runs in the same amount of innings.
Babar also managed to register a superb unbeaten ton in a clash against Hampshire earlier this month which was only his second ever century in the T20 format.
It continues an excellent run of form in England for the Pakistan batsman who scored 474 runs for the Men in Green in the 2019 World Cup.
Saturday’s win over Glamorgan has moved Somerset back into fourth spot in the Southern Group standings and it keeps their hopes of making the quarter-final alive with two games remaining.
Babar and Somerset will next be in action on Tuesday at the Oval in London when they take on Surrey.
Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting believes the second new-ball will be key for the visitors on a pivotal Day Four of the third Ashes Test against England at Headingley.
The Aussies are just one win away from retaining the historic urn in England for the first time since 2001 but Tim Paine and his men were frustrated for a large part on Day Three by a resurgent batting display from the hosts.
Having been bowled out for just 67 runs in their first-innings, England reached 156-3 at stumps on Saturday in their chase of a target of 359 runs. Skipper Joe Root dug in with an unbeaten 75 while Joe Denly registered his first half-century of the series as the hosts finally showed a backbone with the bat.
They still need 203 runs further for a victory to level the five-match series and Ponting is confident that Australia’s bowlers can seize the new-ball advantage to thwart any such plans.
“I know England have played really well this afternoon, they dug deep,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
“Denly and Root’s partnership was outstanding, but I think Australia has still got plenty of runs. We’ve seen Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins bowl outstandingly well right through the game and I think as the game goes on Nathan Lyon is going to come in to it more and more.
“The wicket looks like it’s flattened out considerably late this afternoon but there’s a new ball around the corner tomorrow morning. It’s been a new-ball wicket all game. The other thing we’ve seen is in the game it has been a really hard wicket for anyone to come in and start on.”
England have never successfully chased a target as high as 359 runs in the final innings of a Test match with a chase of 332 runs in 1928 against Australia being their previous best.