New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson ended 2020 by claiming the No.1 spot in the ICC Test batting rankings. He has now begun 2021 on an auspicious note by becoming the first international centurion of the new year.
New Zealand were in control of the Christchurch Test, having progressed to 286 for 3 in response to Pakistan’s first-innings score of 297.
Kane Williamson featured in an unbeaten stand of 215 runs for the fourth wicket with Henry Nicholls, who was undefeated on 89 off 186 deliveries at the close of play.
The Kiwi skipper raced from 78 to 94 in the 70th over of the innings, displaying uncanny aggression by smashing four fours off Naseem Shah.
Kane Williamson soon brought up his 24th Test hundred by tucking Faheem Ashraf to fine leg for another boundary.
— Spark Sport (@sparknzsport) January 4, 2021
The New Zealand batsman’s hundred at Christchurch was his third in as many Tests. He had earlier notched up 251 against West Indies at Hamilton and followed it up with 129 at Mount Maunganui in the first Test against Pakistan.
With his hundred on Monday, Kane Williamson became the fourth New Zealander to score hundreds in three consecutive Tests. He joins Mark Burgess (1969-72), Ross Taylor (2013) and Tom Latham (2018-19)
Kane Williamson breaks Stephen Fleming’s record
With his 24th Test century, the 30-year-old also went past Stephen Fleming’s record of most fifty-plus scores by a Kiwi in Test cricket. Before the Christchurch Test, both Williamson and Fleming were tied at 55 fifty-plus scores each.
Williamson now has 24 Test hundreds and 32 fifties to his name. Fleming, on the other hand, finished his Test career with 46 half-centuries and nine hundreds.
STUMPS. Kane Williamson 112* Henry Nicholls 89* (215* run partnership) take the team to the close of play 286/3 and 11 runs behind Pakistan's 1st innings total. Great day of Test cricket at Hagley Oval #NZvPAK pic.twitter.com/SJXNoOmQRu
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) January 4, 2021
On December 31st, Kane Williamson rose to the No.1 spot in Test cricket as the latest ICC batting rankings were released.
He has 890 points to his name. Indian captain Virat Kohli occupies the No. 2 slot with 879 points, while Steve Smith completes the top three with 877 points.