Kane Williamson equals Virat Kohli, Don Bradman with fourth consecutive Test century
Kane Williamson powered New Zealand's innings in the face of a relentless barrage from Bangladesh's spinners on a deteriorating pitch in Sylhet.
Kane Williamson scored his 29th Test century and powered New Zealand's first innings on Day 2 of their first Test against Bangladesh. Despite the former New Zealand captain scoring 104, New Zealand trail Bangladesh's score of 310 by 44 runs, finishing the second day with a total of 266 for the loss of eight wickets.
Williamson batted nearly five hours and faced 205 balls, with his innings being punctuated by 11 fours. He fell in the final session of the day to Taijul Islam, who recorded figures of 4/89. With his century on Wednesday, he has equalled India's Virat Kohli's and Australia legend Don Bradman's tally of centuries. Williamson got there in 165 innings while Kohli had taken 187. Bradman, however, did it in just 80 innings. Williamson also surpassed former Australia and South Africa captains Michael Clarke and Hashim Amla respectively, both of whom ended their careers on 28 Test centuries.
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Williamson is now one century away from become the first New Zealand player to reach 30 tons in Test cricket. He is by far the most prolific Test century maker for New Zealand, with second-placed Ross Taylor having scored 19. Williamson is also the most prolific Test run scorer for new Zealand, having made 8228 runs in 95 Tests at an average of 51.45.
Bangladesh folded on its overnight score of 310 when skipper Tim Southee had Shoriful Islam out leg before wicket with the first ball of the morning. The home side's spinners got into act immediately, turning the balls admirably to trouble the New Zealand batters but Williamson defied them with solid defense to keep the visitors in the game.
He got support from Glenn Phillips (42) and Daryl Mitchell (41) before the Bangladeshi bowlers made inroads in the last hour with the second new ball. Openers Tom Latham and Devon Conway played Bangladesh’s lone pacer Shoriful Islam with ease but found it much tougher against offspinner Mehidy Hasan and left-arm spinner Taijul Isalm.
Taijul bowled a tight line and the pressure eventually paid off when Latham, who had hit three fours in his 21 runs, tried to sweep but could only top-edge a catch to Nayeem Hasan at backward square leg. Conway followed him two overs later when Mehidy Hasan Miraz had him caught by Shahadat Hossain at silly point as he tried to defend a quicker delivery when on 12.
On an increasingly deteriorating pitch, Williamson added 54 runs with Henry Nicholls (19) before the latter edged pacer Shoriful Islam (1-44). Mitchell counterattacked and hit Taijul for a six, but the left-arm spinner eventually had him stumped to end a 66-run partnership.
Offspinner Nayeem Hasan joined the party by dismissing Tom Blundell for 6 as New Zealand was left on 175-5. With Bangladesh looking to expose the tail of New Zealand, Williamson found support from Glenn Phillips.
Together they kept the spinners at bay, using their feet well, prompting skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto to go to occasional bowler Mominul Haque for the breakthrough. And Mominul broke the 78-run partenrship in his first over as Phillips edged a delivery behind.
Williamson then raised his fourth century in as many games off 189 balls, clipping Nayeem behind the square for a single. But when the second new ball was taken, Taijul brought an end to his masterclass with an arm delivery which went straight to rattle his stump.
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