Kane shows he is able, so does captain Taylor

New Zealand captain Ross Taylor led from the front with an unbeaten 119 as New Zealand ended the first day of the second Test against Sri Lanka on 223 for two wickets on Sunday.

It was Taylor's eighth Test hundred and his third as captain while Kane Williamson was on 95 not out at the close which came 9.1 overs early due to rain.

The duo's patient partnership of an unbroken 214 was the highest stand for any wicket by New Zealand in nine matches in 2012.

The stand was the perfect response by New Zealand's batsmen after the debacle of the first test in Galle, when they crumbled for 118 in the second innings and lost by 10 wickets in less than three days.

Taylor chose to bat first but must have been wondering about the wisdom of that decision as his side slipped to 14 for two. Martin Guptill opened his account with a straight-driven four off Nuwan Kulasekera's medium pace, only to edge the final ball of the first over to first slip Angelo Mathews.

Taylor enjoyed some good fortune early on, slashing Eranga over Mathews at third slip and then inside edging the same bowler past leg-stump, but otherwise played a model innings.

He has faced 241 balls and hit 10 fours and of the five test hundreds scored by New Zealand batsmen this year, Taylor's haul is now three.

Right-hander Williamson, who has another one of those five, faced 229 balls and hit eight fours in an exhibition of risk-free batting. "Kane Williamson has struggled a bit in recent times and for him to come out and play like he did under a lot of pressure is credit to him," said Taylor.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 223-2 (R. Taylor 119 not out, K. Williamson 95 not out) v Sri Lanka

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