Brendon McCullum hailed New Zealand's World Cup side as the best of the four that…
Captain Brendon McCullum became the first New Zealand batsman to score 1,000 test runs in a calendar year as he guided the hosts to 215 for four at tea on the first day of the first test against Sri Lanka at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Friday.
McCullum also brought up the fastest test century by a New Zealander, off 74 balls, before he went to the break on 102 while Jimmy Neesham was on nought.
McCullum had needed 31 runs to reach the 1,000 mark and brought it up with a six over long off in a typically aggressive innings.
McCullum thought he had reached his century when he blasted a six off debutant off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal, but he was actually a run short. A review of a leg before appeal showed he had hit the ball but the two runs were left as leg byes and not credited to his personal score.
Having acknowledged the crowd he then realised he was still on 99 and brought up the century on the next ball.
Williamson became more circumspect after Ross Taylor was run out for seven but still reached his 14th test half century before he was bowled for 54 by Dhammika Prasad with about five minutes remaining in the session.
Taylor’s run out, when he slipped after he and Williamson had both set off for a quick single before the vice captain stopped mid pitch, left New Zealand at 85 for three.
They could have slumped even further when Suranga Lakmal dropped a relatively easy caught and bowled opportunity when Williamson was on 39 and the team score on 103.
New Zealand then seized the initiative as McCullum and Williamson put on 126 runs in quick time.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews had earlier won the toss and inserted New Zealand on a green pitch but Lakmal and Eranga failed to fully capitalise before openers Hamish Rutherford (18) and Tom Latham (27) fell with the hosts going to lunch on 84 for two.