Williamson shines for Black Caps

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iol spt june29 Kane Williamson AP File picture: Kane Williamson's second century of the series put New Zealand in a comfortable position at 260 for five in their second innings, a lead of 236, at lunch on the fourth day of the third and final Test. Photo by: Arnulfo Franco/AP

Kane Williamson's second century of the series put New Zealand in a comfortable position at 260 for five in their second innings, a lead of 236, at lunch on the fourth day of the third and final Test at Kensington Oval on Sunday.

His unbeaten 121, the seventh Test hundred of his career, and the support of all-rounder Jimmy Neesham (51) in a fifth-wicket partnership of 91, tilted the balance of an intriguing match which saw the West Indies making the ideal start to the day with the wicket of Brendon McCullum in the fourth over.

New Zealand's captain fell for 25, lbw to Kemar Roach to become the fast bowler's 99th Test wicket and leave the visitors uncertainly placed at 135 for four, only 111 runs ahead.

However, Williamson, who put on 67 for the fourth wicket with his skipper, found another capable partner in Neesham, the left-hander stealing the spotlight from his senior partner in hoisting four sixes during an entertaining innings in which he did not allow the bowlers to settle.

Occupying the vital number three position in the batting order, Williamson's innings was one of calm assurance before lunch, in contrast to the start of his effort on the third evening when he edged a delivery from Roach at catchable height between wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin and first slip Chris Gayle, and also could have been stumped down the leg-side off the first delivery by spinner Shane Shillingford.

He started the morning by going after Shillingford, lofting him for four over long-on and never looked back, reaching the century in 249 minutes off 173 balls with 15 fours.

Neesham, who played well for 78 in the first innings before being run out, completed his second half-century of the match but perished playing one attacking shot too many.

In the second over of the day from debutant Jason Holder, he drove powerfully but straight to Kraigg Brathwaite at short extra-cover.

Pugnacious wicketkeeper-batsman B.J. Watling, on 15, will resume after the interval with Williamson.– AFP


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