First Test, Colombo, day two (close): New Zealand 515-7 dec v Sri Lanka 4-1
Stephen Fleming denied himself the chance to become the first Kiwi to score a triple century in Colombo.
The skipper, who amassed an unbeaten 274 after nearly 11 hours at the crease, declared New Zealand's innings on 515-7 late on the second day.
The previous best score by a New Zealand batsman was Martin Crowe's 299, scored in 1991 against Sri Lanka.
Fleming, who resumed play on 112 in his side's overnight total of 207-2, survived three chances before overtaking the unbeaten 174 he scored against the same opposition six years ago.
TOP NEW ZEALAND TEST SCORES
299 - Martin Crowe, v SL in Hamilton, 1991
274* - Stephen Fleming, v SL in Colombo, 2003
267* - Bryan Young, v SL in Dunedin, 1997
259 - Glenn Turner, v WI in Guyana, 1972
239 - Graham Dowling, v Ind in Christchurch, 1968
The declaration proved to be a stroke of tactical genius as the weary hosts lost Marvan Atapattu lbw to Daryl Tuffey in the first over before reaching 4-1 when bad light stopped play early.
New Zealand capitalised on dreadful Sri Lankan fielding to push their tally out, Mahela Jayawardene the worst culprit with three dropped catches.
In all, Sri Lanka's fielders missed five chances in the morning session.
Prabath Nissanka allowed a hook from Fleming to drop in front of him at deep fine-leg.
When Fleming miscued another hook shot, Jayawardene ran back from slip and got underneath it, but could not grasp the difficult chance.
It's set up the Test. The personal side will sink in later, but I'm delighted I was able to play a hand
Fleming reflects on his innings
Fleming moved from 121 to 140 when he survived again, this time Jayawardene fumbling an edge in the slips off debutant leg-spinner
Sanath Jayasuriya was also guilty of a missed
chance as he spilled a catch at gully off Mathew Sinclair.
But three runs later Sinclair was caught off Dharmasena for 17.
Meanwhile, Fleming reached 200 with his 22nd boundary, sweeping off-spinner Kumar Dharmasena for four through mid-wicket.
Scott Styris should have gone on 16 when Jayawardene dropped another catch, once again off Lokuarachchi.
Strris eventually fell for 63 to Dharmasena after sharing in 157 runs with his captain for the fourth wicket.
We dropped about 10 chances. I think it was a lack of concentration
Sri Lanka coach Duleep Mendis
One of the most striking aspects of the day's play was the poor form of Muttiah Muralitharan.
It was not until midway through the evening session - and 55 fruitless overs - that the off-spinner struck for the first time, having Jacob Oram caught for 33.
He soon took another, this time Jawardene holding onto one, to remove keeper Robbie Hart cheaply.
Fleming watched from the other end as Dharmasena trapped Daniel Vettori in front for his third wicket and as Paul Wiseman clobbered 16 runs off seven balls.
It was during Murali's 59th over that the tireless Kiwi leader called time on the innings and, selflessly, a truly great knock.
New Zealand: Stephen Fleming (capt), Matthew Horne, Mark
Richardson, Matthew Sinclair, Scott Styris, Robbie Hart, Jacob Oram,
Daryl Tuffey, Daniel Vettori, Paul Wiseman, Shane Bond.
Sri Lanka: Hashan Tillakaratne (capt), Sanath Jayasuriya, Marvan
Atapattu, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardena, Romesh
Kaluwitharana, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Dharmasena, Kaushalya
Lokuarachchi, Chaminda Vaas, Prabath Nissanka.
Umpires: Daryl Harper (AUS) and Simon Taufel (AUS)