Smith misses Bradman record
Williamson became just the fourth New Zealander to score 10 ODI centuries with yesterday’s effort, joining team-mates Ross Taylor (17) and Martin Guptill (12), as well as Nathan Astle (16).
His ton was just the third ODI century at the Basin Reserve, with the last being Shoaib Mohammad’s 126 not out for Pakistan in 1989.
Williamson is currently the seventh highest run scorer in New Zealand’s ODI history with 4831 in 119 games, just 50 runs behind Chris Cairns in sixth.
By the end of the tour Williamson would be expected to move into sixth spot and eyeing up the men ahead of him, including Guptill and Taylor.
Farkhar Zaman tried in vain to join Williamson with the fourth Basin Reserve ODI century in Pakistan’s innings, only to end on 82 not out as rain stopped play.
The Pakistani opener, playing only his 10th ODI, sampled his first taste of defeat in the loss, having won the previous nine games he’d played.
New Zealand’s total of 315 surpassed the previous high at the Basin Reserve, Australia’s 297 against New Zealand in 1998.
Williamson said he felt the total was above par, given how well Pakistan bowled and the nature of the sticky wicket.
The highest total ever chased down at the Basin Reserve was Pakistan’s 253-6, scored the same day as Mohammad’s ton in 1989. New Zealand got home that day by six wickets, thanks to Martin Crowe and Ian Smith scoring 87 not out and 62 not out respectively. IN the end, the greatest performer of the Ashes series provided its greatest anti-climax.
The masses poured into the SCG yesterday in anticipation of seeing history made, with an air of inevitability about Steve Smith completing a record-equalling fourth ton against England.
It was no surprise then that there were gasps of disbelief among the crowd of 43,170 when he fell 17 runs short of the latest milestone by chipping the ball, with his bat twisted, back to spinner Moeen Ali.
Smith muttered to himself angrily as he walked off the ground, then threw his bat away when he returned to the Australian dressing room. He has three centuries to his name in this series – not to mention a tally of runs that puts everyone else in the shade – but he knew this was the one that got away.
Before that inauspicious moment the Australian captain had appeared invincible on the third day of the fifth test.
Smith’s day had started with another inevitability, winning the McGilvray Medal again as the ABC’s test player of the year.
The imperious way in which he then began on the ground only strengthened the sense of certainty around him levelling Sir Donald Bradman’s feat of four hundreds in a single Ashes series.
He waltzed across the stumps repeatedly in the first over of the day, bowled by James Anderson around the wicket, and met the ball way outside off. What would, as one commentator noted, been wides in the limited-overs game were turned into confident defensive prods by the crab-like Smith.
So apparently was he in control that there was almost an arrogance about his forays across the crease and his exaggerated leaves. A blown-away Shane Warne declared the modern-day great was ‘‘taking the mickey’’.
As the exhibition continued Smith later seemed like he was simply having a net as he laughed with batting partner Usman Khawaja after getting himself in a tight spot against a short ball from Stuart Broad.
That smile, however, would be wiped right off his face in the second last over before lunch when he gave Moeen and England the most unexpected of gifts.
The growing likelihood is that Smith will not bat again in the series, such is the state of the fifth test heading into today’s fourth day, and even if he did there would not be enough runs to mount another pursuit at matching Bradman’s quartet of Ashes centuries in 1930 and those of Wally Hammond (1928/29) and Herbert Sutcliffe (1924/25). The Sun-Herald
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson is very watchful en route to his century against Pakistan in Wellington yesterday.