Classic Williamson ton swings momentum New Zealand’s way | Daily News

Classic Williamson ton swings momentum New Zealand’s way

New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson plays a shot during day two of the second international cricket Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on January 4. AFP
New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson plays a shot during day two of the second international cricket Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on January 4. AFP

Christchurch, Monday: A classic century by Kane Williamson in an unbroken 215-run stand with Henry Nicholls hauled New Zealand into a strong position at 286 for three at stumps on day two of the second Test against Pakistan on Monday.

New Zealand, having recovered from 71 for three in Christchurch, ended the day trailing Pakistan's first innings 297 by just 11 runs with seven wickets in hand.

Williamson, newly installed as the world's number one Test batsman, was unbeaten on 112, his 24th century, with Nicholls on 89.

Even when New Zealand were in trouble there was a sense in the side that Williamson would save them.

"When you know you've got someone like Kane Williamson there you know you've got a pretty strong rock to change the tide of an innings," said New Zealand batting coach Luke Ronchi, adding that Williamson had put New Zealand in a "fantastic" situation.

"It's him being him out there, it's his own little world. He's one of those players that make the game look really ease yet other people seem to find it not so easy.

"It's brilliant to watch. When he does get to a score of 100 it's just another run to him."

It was Williamson's third century in as many Tests in the past month, although fortune was on his side.

Late in the day, he was dropped twice and survived a run out when the bail had only partially dislodged in the split second it took to get his bat across the crease.

Pakistan, without a win in 10 away Tests since 2018, would have felt their luck was changing when New Zealand slumped from 52 without loss to 71 for three when Ross Taylor departed in the fifth over after lunch.

It could have been 74 for four when Nicholls was given out early, caught behind for three, only for the dismissal to be reversed by the TV umpire who detected Shaheen Afridi's delivery was a no ball. AFP