Kane Williamson is still finding new and interesting ways to score runs, even if the rest of us are running out of superlatives to describe them.
The 30-year-old added a second double-century to his preposterous summer CV as New Zealand built a big lead against Pakistan on a rain-affected day three of the second test.
He reached his fourth double from 327 balls with a whip through the leg side off Shaheen Shah Afridi. Only Brendon McCullum has scored as many in tests for New Zealand.
The Black Caps are 504-5, a lead of 207 with five first innings wickets in hand.
It was just another landmark on a day when milestones and records ticked over like clockwork.
* Williamson passed Sir Donald Bradman’s 6996 on his way to becoming just the third New Zealander to core 700 test runs. Only Stephen Fleming (7172) and Ross Taylor (7379) have scored more;
* Achieving it in his 144th innings means only 12 batsmen in the history of the game did it quicker, a who’s who of 11 of the greatest to have ever graced the crease, and Matthew Hayden;
* Henry Nicholls scored his seventh test century, converting that into 157, an effort made all the more meritorious given that he did it with a strain in his left calf that restricted his footwork and running between the wickets;
* The pair shared a partnership of 369, a record for the fourth wicket for New Zealand, a record for any wicket in tests between New Zealand and Pakistan, and New Zealand’s third-best partnership all time.
Pakistan continued to play their part, too, continuing a horror innings in the field by dropping Nicholls on 92 and Williamson on 177, along with myriad shelled chances on day two.
New Zealand are seeking a big first innings lead in their push for victory as a win would give them a chance – depending on other results – of making the World Test Championship final scheduled for Lord’s in June.
Yesterday Williamson brought up his 24th test century, increasing his New Zealand “lead” over Ross Taylor by five, and joining Sir Viv Richards, Greg Chappell, Mohammad Yousuf and David Warner, all of whom have taken more innings to reach that number.
It turns out he was only getting warmed up.
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