Kane Williamson’s double ton puts New Zealand on top

By ScoreLine Desk - January 5, 2021

Christchurch: Kane Williamson’s golden summer continued on Day Three at Hagley Oval, the BLACKCAPS captain notching his fourth Test double century as his team took hold of the Test.

Although the applause was first for Williamson’s overnight partner Henry Nicholls who, batting with a left calf strain, brought up his seventh Test century in front of his home fans.

Nicholls and Williamson shared in New Zealand’s third highest partnership of all all time with 369-runs to their credit – only the sixth 300-plus run partnership in Test cricket.

After a watchful start, Nicholls was aggressive once reaching the milestone and cruised past 150 before eventually being caught in the deep for 157.

That left the stage for Williamson who, despite one rain break leaving him stranded on 199, reached the magical 200 mark under lights in the middle session much to the delight of the Hagley Oval crowd.

The day of moments wasn’t over there, all-rounder Daryl Mitchell scoring his maiden Test century later in the day before a declaration leaving an hour for the BLACKCAPS bowlers to attack.

Kyle Jamieson was the benefactor of a tight bowling unit, picking up Shan Masood for a duck before the close of play.

Kane Williamson scored 238, the fourth double-century of his career and his second of the summer, as New Zealand declared with a 362-run lead over Pakistan on the third day of the second cricket Test.

Williamson’s nine-hour innings and a 369-run fourth-wicket partnership with Henry Nicholls, who made 157, propelled New Zealand 659-6 on Tuesday in reply to Pakistan’s 297 before the declaration at 6.18 p.m. local time, with 11 overs remaining in the day.

Williamson briefly delayed his declaration to allow allrounder Daryl Mitchell, son of former All Blacks rugby coach and current England assistant coach John Mitchell, to reach a maiden Test century.

Mitchell put on 133 with Williamson for New Zealand’s sixth wicket. He was 69 not out when tea was taken late after a rain-affected second session and returned knowing he had only a handful of overs to reach his hundred.

He was 93 when he came to the fifth over which Williamson indicated was positively the last of the New Zealand innings. With a single, a pair of twos and a boundary, he reached his century from the fifth ball and was left 102 not out.

Pakistan openers Shan Masood and Abid Ali came to the crease at 6.30 p.m. in gloom lifted a little by Hagley Oval’s new floodlights which were switched on for the first time just before 4 p.m. on a day of dark overcast and showers in Christchurch.

They had been in the field for 158.5 overs, almost two full days, and the task of facing New Zealand’s fresh attack before stumps was a daunting one.

Masood fell for a duck in the eighth over and Pakistan went to stumps at 8-1, still 354 behind.

Williamson also had been a feature of almost all of the second and third days. He went to the crease in only the 20th over of New Zealand’s innings early on the second day when it was 52-1 and he left 130 overs later when it was 585-6.

Unflappable, he was 199 when the second and shorter rain break of the day occurred Tuesday and returned to post his double century from 327 balls. In doing so he became only the second New Zealand after Brendon McCullum, his predecessor as captain, to post four double centuries in Tests.

And at 123 he surpassed 7,000 runs in Tests, following his current teammate Ross Taylor and former captain Stephen Fleming as one only New Zealanders to achieve that mark.

Williamson’s partnership with Nicholls, which occupied 398 minutes or just under 90 overs, took New Zealand from 71-3 to 440-4 when Nicholls finally was out early in the second session.

Nicholls, who resumed Tuesday at 89, batted for at least the second half of his innings with an injured calf which made his more than six and a half hour innings more notable.

The partnership at first was New Zealand’s highest against Pakistan, then its highest for the fourth wicket against all nations. At its end it was the third-highest by a New Zealand pair for any wicket against any team.

He missed the second Test to be with his wife at the birth of his first child, then returned to make 129 in the first Test against Pakistan.

His last Test innings, perhaps the best of his career, marked him as a player of extraordinary concentration and technique.

No home track hero, he also has centuries or better at Ahmedabad, Colombo, Bulawayo, Chittagong, Kingston, Jamaica, Sharjah, Lord’s, and the Gabba and the WACA in Australia.

By ScoreLine Desk

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