Williamson’s ton puts New Zealand in command
HAMILTON: A record-equalling Test century by Kane Williamson
yesterday put New Zealand in charge of the Third Test against South Africa and had them talking of victory in Hamilton.
At stumps on the third day, New Zealand were 321 for four, leading South Africa by seven runs with Williamson — who equalled Martin Crowe’s record of 17 Test centuries for the Black Caps — not out on 148 with Mitchell Santner on 13.
It was a remarkable fightback by a side completel y o u tclassed in the Second Test when they were beaten by eight wickets inside three days.
Opener Jeet Raval, who put on a 190-run partnership with Williamson, said New Zealand were eyeing a 200 first innings lead.
“We’d love to get 500. We’re in a good position and we’ve still got six wickets in the shed,” said Raval.
“If we can get a couple of hundred-run lead and then put South Africa under pressure with the new ball it puts us right in the game.
“It’s about putting us in a position where we can win this game and draw the series.”
New Zealand, battling to square the series which South Africa lead 1-0, enjoyed a solid start from Raval and Tom Latham with an 83-run opening partnership before Williamson took control.
“I felt like bit of a clown batting with the master at the other end. Just to watch him bat was unbelievable,” added Raval, whose 88 came from 254 balls while Williamson has faced 216 deliveries for his 148.
South African quick Morne Morkel, who took the wickets of Latham and Raval, described Williamson’s performance as “exceptional.” AFP