Bridgetown (Barbados), June 29 :
The unflappable Kane Williamson stroked an enterprising hundred, his second of the series and seventh of this career, as New Zealand began to seize control of the decisive third Test against West Indies here Sunday.
At lunch on the penultimate day, the visitors were 260 for five – a lead of 236 runs – with the right-handed Williamson unbeaten on 121 and plucky wicketkeeper B.J. Watling on 15, in a partnership that has so far yielded 34, reports CMC.
Fast bowler Kemar Roach took one of the two wickets to fall in the morning session and he has now three for 46.
As he has done all series, Williamson formed the bedrock of the New Zealand innings, anchoring two critical stands — 67 for the fourth wicket with captain Brendon McCullum who scored 25 and a rollicking 91 for the fifth wicket with Jimmy Neesham who scored a lively 51.
Williamson has faced 209 deliveries and batted a shade over five hours, counting 16 fours.
Resuming the day on 58 with New Zealand on 123 for three, Williamson showed his intent from early with boundaries of the first few overs, and continued to mix solid defence with attacking prowess.
McCullum added just two to his overnight 23 before falling lbw to Roach in the day’s fourth over, trapped on the crease by a delivery that came back.
Neesham’s arrival accelerated the scoring rate, the left-hander belting three fours and four sixes off just 67 balls in an hour-and-a-half at the crease.
Williamson, meanwhile, edged seamer Jason Holder to third man to move to 97 before reaching his century with a couple behind point off Benn, 50 minutes before lunch.
Neesham followed him soon after, driving Holder for two to reach his half-century but then fell off the very next ball, smashing a full-blooded drive into the lap of Kraigg Brathwaite at a very short cover.
Any hopes the West Indies had of making further inroads were quickly erased as Williamson and Watling stood firm.
New Zealand: 293 (Jimmy Neesham 78, Mark Craig 46 not out, Ross Taylor 45, Kane Williamson 43, Brendon McCullum 31; Sulieman Benn 5/93, Kemar Roach 4/61) and 260 for five (Kane Williamson 121 not out, Jimmy Neesham 51, Brendon McCullum 25; Kemar Roach 3/46).
West Indies: (Kraigg Brathwaite 68, Kirk Edwards 58, Denesh Ramdin 45, Chris Gayle 42, Jason Holder 38; Neil Wagner 4/64, Jimmy Neesham 2/12, Trent Boult 2/71).