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World Test Championship

West Indies steady after Kane Williamson run-fest

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

West Indies ended day two on 49/0 after Kane Williamson's 251 propelled New Zealand to 519/7d in Hamilton on Friday, 4 December.


Windies' opening batsmen Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell got off to a solid start, nearly putting up a half-century stand for the first wicket. Handling New Zealand's pacemen with sound technique and maturity, the openers ensured West Indies remained unscathed by day end. Trailing by 470 runs, they have a huge task ahead but will be pleased with how the first leg of the battle panned out.

Brathwaite was his usual self, dropping anchor, digging in, while Campbell followed suit with an equally cautious knock.

However, it was Williamson's day through and through as the Black Caps captain smashed his third double ton in Tests. He began the day slowly but picked up speed eventually to expertly tackle whatever was thrown at him.

While wickets fell at one end, Williamson held onto the other with resolve. He got to his century in the third over of the day, slowly upping the scoring rate after reaching the three-figure mark.

The West Indies bowlers didn't do much wrong. Kemar Roach bowled with verve, producing several testing deliveries but Williamson held his own despite missing a few. At the other end, Ross Taylor departed on 38, after edging one off Shannon Gabriel. Roach dismissed Henry Nicholls on 7 as he got a thick outside edge to Jason Holder at second slip.Β 

Tom Blundell then paired with Williamson to bring up a half-century stand. He played second fiddle to Williamson's aggression, surviving the first session. However, Gabriel claimed his wicket soon after the start of the second session, trapping him in front.

Williamson, who was in full flow by this point, continued playing his shots and brought up his third double ton in Tests. The milestone only spurred him on to unleash more of the same. In Roach's 29th over, he let loose a flurry of shots, hammering two fours and a six in quick succession. He looked to play across the line on the next ball and got a thin edge through to the keeper. However, luck was on his side as replays revealed that Roach had overstepped.

Kyle Jamieson, who had joined the New Zealand skipper after the dismissal of Daryl Mitchell, brought up the fifty-run stand for the sixth-wicket. He looked good, taking on the tiring bowlers confidently. The hosts scored 131 runs in the second session, going past the 450-run mark with ease.

Williamson continued in the same vein when the third session began. He crunched a four and a six off Alzarri Joseph, bringing up his 250. However, his luck ran out when he mistimed a pull on the next ball straight down the throat of deep mid-wicket. He departed for 251 – his highest score in Tests and the highest for a Black Caps batsman in Hamilton.

The skipper waited until Jamieson brought up his maiden Test fifty in only his third Test and declared New Zealand's innings on 519/7.

Kemar Roach, who picked up three wickets, went past Andy Roberts' tally of 202 scalps to become West Indies' eighth-highest wicket-taker in Tests.

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