Christchurch:It was another dominant day for New Zealand in the second Test against Pakistan as captain Kane Williamson scored his fourth double-century and the hosts posted a mammoth 659/6 declared.
Williamson and Henry Nicholls had already done the damage on day two, putting on 215 on the second day. The duo extended that partnership to a massive 359 for the fourth wicket to form the bedrock of New Zealand’s dominant first-innings display. Williamson ended up on 238 – his third-highest Test score – Nicholls reached 157, and with Daryl Mitchell scoring his maiden Test ton as well, New Zealand had a lead of 362.
There was still time for their bowlers to have a go at the tired Pakistan batsmen during an eventful final leg of the day. Kyle Jamieson, who picked up a five-for in the first innings, was at it again, dismissing Shan Masood for nought. He thought he had Abid Ali, the other opener, dismissed as well, only for the dismissal to be overturned on review. Pakistan ended the day on 8/1, a deficit of 354.
The scale of the Williamson and Nicholls’ domination for a majority of the day is best expressed through statistics: it was the first triple-century partnership by a New Zealand pair against Pakistan in Test history, and in the list of New Zealand’s highest Test partnerships, only two stands were worth more than the 369 put on by Williamson and Nicholls.
The knocks were all class too, and that was symbolised by the manner in which the Pakistan fielders rushed to batsmen to offer their congratulations soon after dismissing them. The duo batted through the whole first session, and the stand was broken only early in the second, when Nicholls top-edged one off Abbas. BJ Watling (7) was dismissed cheaply as well, but there was no reprieve for Pakistan as Mitchell partnered Williamson with New Zealand looking to plunder more runs.
By this stage, New Zealand had over 450 on board, and Pakistan’s bowlers were tired. Mitchell and Williamson upped the ante, their 133-run partnership for the sixth wicket coming off just 163 balls. Williamson brought up his double-century during that stand – it was his fourth in Test cricket, and put him level with Brendon McCullum among New Zealand players with the most double-tons – and at the other end, Mitchell kept pace, scoring his half-century off just 71 deliveries.
The boundaries increased in frequency, and it didn’t relent even after Williamson finally holed out off Faheem Ashraf, caught at third man. Jamieson partnered Mitchell, and the duo kept going. Mitchell had luck on his side, when he was caught at mid-wicket only for the umpire to deny the wicket due to a no-ball for height. Williamson was happy to wait till Mitchell got his ton, and as soon as he reached the mark – off just 112 balls – the captain signalled declaration.
Pakistan’s batsmen then faced 11 nervy overs, and they have a mountain to climb on the fourth day if they are to stay in this Test.(UNI)