Williamson's ton powers NZ to first Test series victory over SA

February 16, 2024
Riding on the back of Kane Williamson's fourth-inning century New Zealand secured their first Test series win on Day 4 of the second Test

Hamilton, Feb 16 (IANS) Riding on the back of Kane Williamson’s fourth-inning century New Zealand secured their first Test series win on Day 4 of the second Test against South Africa, completing a 2-0 sweep with a record chase here at Seddon Park.

Williamson’s unbeaten 133 guided New Zealand to the highest successful chase at Hamilton’s Seddon Park to complete their first Test series win over South Africa.

With his 32nd test century, Williamson drew level with Australian counterpart Steve Smith for the most Test centuries by any current player to ensure the Kiwis chased down their victory target with ease.

The 2-0 series sweep sees New Zealand extend their lead at the top of the World Test Championship standings with a 75 percent win-loss percentage.

While South Africa showed some much better signs than in the first Test at Mount Maunganui, the loss sees them fall to eighth on the World Test Championship standings and below England with a 25 percent win-loss percentage.

Partnering with Will Young, who contributed a solid 60 not out, Williamson orchestrated a pivotal 152-run partnership for the fourth wicket, ensuring New Zealand’s triumph with seven wickets in hand.

Facing the early challenge of South Africa’s bowling attack, New Zealand encountered setbacks with the early dismissal of Tom Latham. However, Williamson’s steadfast presence nullified any potential threats as he meticulously crafted his innings, showcasing his proficiency in handling both spin and pace.

New Zealand’s cautious approach in the first two sessions reflected their determination to weather the storm, with Williamson quietly accumulating runs to inch closer to his century. By tea, New Zealand had firmly positioned themselves at 173 for 3, within striking distance of victory.

While South Africa’s Dane Piedt (3/93) posed sporadic challenges with his spin bowling and seamer Dane Paterson displayed discipline, their efforts were overshadowed by New Zealand’s clinical performance.

Debutant quick Will O’Rourke emerged as the Player of the Match, showcasing his prowess with nine crucial wickets throughout the second Test.

Meanwhile, Williamson reclaimed the series award for his remarkable tally of 403 runs across the two Tests.

New Zealand 211/10 (Kane Williamson 43, Tom Latham; Dane Piedt 5-89, Dane Petersen 3-39) and 269/3 (Kane Williamson 133*, Will Young 60*, Dane Piedt 3-93) beat South Africa 242 (Ruan de Swardt 64, Shaun von Berg 28; William O’Rourke 4-59, Rachin Ravindra 3-33) and 235 (Bedingham 110, Keegan Petersen 43; O’Rourke 5-34, Glenn Philips 2-50) by seven wickets

–IANS

hs/bc

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