Williamson leads New Zealand charge on first day against Windies - GulfToday

Williamson leads New Zealand charge on first day against Windies


Kane Williamson bats during play on day one of the first Test against the West Indies in Hamilton on Thursday. AP

Gulf Today Report

A resolute Kane Williamson, despite being troubled with cramp late in the day, scored a gritty 97 to steer New Zealand to 243 for two on day one of the first Test in Hamilton on Thursday.

He remained unbeaten, seeing off West Indian pacers on a lush green turf as New Zealand lost a crucial toss. West Indian quicks spurned a chance to skittle out New Zealand for a paltry total on the pitch that offered bounce and pace to the fast bowlers.

They failed to exploit the conditions conducive for fast bowlers as Williamson led from the front to take New Zealand to safety with a watchful innings.

At stumps, Williamson was unbeaten on 97, while Ross Taylor was batting on 31 with eight batsmen to come. Williamson shared a 154-run stand with Tom Latham for the second wicket before the latter was bowled for 86.

The duo played sensibly and frustrated the West Indies bowers with a century partnership. After the start of play was delayed two hours by rain, the West Indies were delighted to win the toss with an emerald wicket that potentially offered untold demons for their pace attack.

But after Shannon Gabriel bowled Will Young early for five, the tourists found they did not getting the assistance they expected from the wicket.

Williamson, who will resume on Friday requiring just three runs to register his 22nd Test century, worked patiently with Latham for more than 50 overs, waiting for bad balls to hit as the pair were rarely tempted to play shots at anything else.

Gabriel, Kemar Roach and Holder could not keep a consistent line and saw rare chances spoiled by fielding errors.

The 2.01 metre (6ft 7in) Holder used his height to extract some bounce but the no-risk approach of Latham and Williamson served only to tire the big Barbadian.

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