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Kane Williamson
World Test Championship

Kane Williamson, Tom Latham lead strong New Zealand batting performance

NZ v WI, 1st Test, day one, report

New Zealand finished Day 1 of the first Test against West Indies at 243/2 with skipper Kane Williamson unbeaten on 97 in Hamilton.

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An unbroken 75-run partnership between Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor helped New Zealand survive a good spell of bowling late in the day from West Indies. Williamson remained unbeaten three short of a century.Β 

Tom Latham and Williamson had laid the foundation for New Zealand's big batting day as the duo stitched together a 154-run partnership for the second wicket. Latham was dismissed on 86 by Kemar Roach before Williamson and Taylor took centre stage.

Earlier in the day, a drizzle delayed the toss and reduced the game to two extended sessions. With all the rain around, Jason Holder opted to bowl first after winning the toss on a green pitch. Nine balls in, Shannon Gabriel rapped debutant opener Will Young on the pads and confidently went for a review only to find the impact being outside off-stump.

The early loss of a review was compounded when an edge from Young, yet again off Gabriel, went between the wicket-keeper and first slip without either reacting. However, Gabriel made amends next ball as he had Young trapped in front.Β 

Kane Williamson joined Tom Latham in the middle and the duo fought off some quality West Indies bowling. Just nine runs came in the seven overs after Young's dismissal as New Zealand consolidated.Β 

Kane Williamson opened up soon after with a couple of boundaries on the off-side off Kemar Roach and back-to-back boundaries off Gabriel a little later. Gaining confidence from Williamson, Latham started playing some shots and hit Alzarri Joseph for a four and a six off successive balls.

With New Zealand's score in the forties, West Indies missed a crucial chance to make a breakthrough. Latham nicked one behind to the keeper off Jason Holder, but the skipper didn't review the decision only for Hot Spot to show a mark in replays later. At the tea break, New Zealand were 99/1, with Latham and Williamson appearing quite solid.Β 

The opener completed his half-century with a lovely pull off Roach, but couldn't convert it into a 12th Test ton as Kemar Roach returned for a spell in the 56th over and cleaned him up from around the wicket with a brilliant delivery.Β 

Ross Taylor and Williamson counterpunched with a quick start to their partnership, smashing five fours in the first 28 balls that yielded 25 runs. West Indies, however, came back strong with the ball swinging around and tested the batters. Late in the day, Darren Bravo was taken off on a stretcher after he hurt his ankle while chasing the ball to the fence. Taylor and Williamson stood firm amid all the drama.

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