Cricket world in awe of ‘brilliant’ Kiwi
Kane Williamson underscored his ranking as the world’s premier batsman with a masterful double century as New Zealand took control of the second Test against Pakistan on Tuesday.
In between the showers at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, Williamson was in classic form, batting for nine hours and 33 minutes for his 238, leading New Zealand to an imposing 659 for six declared to lead Pakistan by 362.
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At stumps, the tourists were already in trouble at one down for eight, with Kyle Jamieson adding to his five-wicket haul in the first innings by removing Shan Masood for a duck.
Should New Zealand win the Test, it will confirm their ranking as the number one side in the world for the first time — to go with Williamson’s promotion as the number one batsman — and keep alive their chance of making the World Test Championship final.
It was a relentless performance from Williamson, who became only the second New Zealander after Brendon McCullum to score four double centuries.
What a knock from Kane Williamson. A truly special player. Not bad from Nicholls and Mitchell either #NZvPAK
Kane Williamson out for 238. Good running catch low by Shan Masood. An epic innings from an epic cricketer. #NZvPak
Kane Williamson now has four double centuries but his highest score is only 251. Clearly, there’s a weakness in Kane’s game where he can’t push on and capitalise on such a good foundation. #NZvPAK
Batsmen are struggling everywhere, but Kane Williamson is in a world of his own: 639 runs in three innings
200 for Kane Williamson! Brilliant from a true legend of our era. What a player and perhaps the ambassador our game needs.
He should have been out for 177, but as has happened several times in the Test, the chance was put down, this time by Azhar Ali, who earlier in the day had dropped Henry Nicholls short of his century.
Williamson and Nicholls had rebuilt the innings after New Zealand were reduced to 71 for three on Monday’s second day.
By the time Nicholls was dismissed early in the afternoon session for 157, the pair had put on 369, the third-best all-time partnership for New Zealand and a record for the fourth wicket.
The day resumed with New Zealand 286 for three with conditions favourable for the bowlers who had cloud cover and a ball only five overs old.
But for every plan Pakistan set to dismiss Williamson, he had an answer, with a range of strokes from silky touches to powerful drives.
Along the way he followed Ross Taylor and Stephen Fleming to become only the third New Zealander to pass 7000 runs.
New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson.Source:AFP
The end came for Williamson three overs before tea when he skied a short ball from Faheem Ashraf and was caught in the deep by Masood.
In four innings from three Tests in the past month Williamson has scored 251, 129, 21 and 238.
Nicholls, dropped on 92 and 133, was hampered by a calf strain which left him hobbling between the wickets.
But he was still able to attack, with boundaries producing 48 of his 68 runs on day three, before he top-edged a short ball from Mohammad Abbas and was caught at deep fine leg.
Daryl Mitchell clobbered 102 off 112 balls with Williamson delaying the declaration until the all-rounder posted his maiden century.
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