Wil­liamson’s ton puts New Zealand in com­mand

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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

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