If there is one batsman in world cricket who never gets the recognition that he should then it is surely New Zealand’s skipper Kane Williamson. In a day, where everyone was talking about Cheteshwar Pujara’s gutsy century at Adelaide Oval in Australia, Williamson played one of the most crucial innings of his life and scored a mesmerizing century against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.
Williamson showed why he is regarded as one of the best batsmen of this generation as he smashed his 19th Test century on Day Four of the third and final Test the series.
Starting the Day 4 on 26 for the loss of 2 wickets, the New Zealand team started the day on a disappointing note as Yasir Shah claimed his 200th Test wicket and became the fastest cricketer to take 200 wickets in the longest format of the game. Shah trapped nightwatchman William Somerville leg-before-wicket for 4 in his third over of the day.
Yasir reached the milestone in his 33rd Test match breaking Australian leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett’s record of 36 Tests set against South Africa in 1936.
As the visitors slipped to 60 for the loss of 4 wickets, New Zealand’s most destructive batsman Williamson and Henry Nicholls built a strong unbeaten 212-run stand for the fifth wicket as their side attained a crucial 198-run lead. Pakistan could only manage to take only 2 wickets in the whole day.
Kane was at his ultimate best as he played some really amazing shots during his knock. Nicholls survived a few close shouts including two close DRS referrals which went in his favors.
As the lead continued to grow, the Pakistan bowlers started to look ordinary on the field. Yasir, who was creating problems at the start of the day, was struck for three consecutive boundaries by Nicholls, who gave Williamson the much-needed support for the whole day.
At the end of day’s play, the Kiwis had reached 272 for the loss of 4 wickets in 104 overs with Williamson 139 not out and Nicholls unbeaten on an equally delightful 90.
BRIEF SCORES –
NEW ZEALAND 274 & 272/4 (Williamson 139*, Nicholls 90*; Afridi 2/55) lead PAKISTAN 348 (Ali 134, Asad Shafiq 104; Somerville 4/75) by 198 runs.