Kane Williamson’s stunning form continues with imperious 238

Black Caps skipper and Nicholls combine to leave Pakistan on the brink in Christchurch

Kane Williamson made a stunning 238 against Pakistan in Chirstchurch. Photograph: Marty Melville/Getty/AFP

Kane Williamson made a stunning 238 against Pakistan in Chirstchurch. Photograph: Marty Melville/Getty/AFP

 

A mammoth 369-run partnership between double-centurion Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls left New Zealand closing in on a 2-0 series sweep over Pakistan in the second Test in Christchurch.

Captain Williamson, the world’s top-ranked Test batsman, took his overnight 112 to a masterful 238 — an innings lasting nine-and-a-half hours — while Nicholls went from 89 to reach 157.

The pair took the Black Caps from a precarious 71 for three to 440 for four, making their country’s highest fourth-wicket partnership, and third-highest overall.

All-rounder Daryl Mitchell also reached three figures before New Zealand eventually declared at 659 for six for a first-innings lead of 362.

Pakistan, after their first innings 297, went to stumps at eight for one, Shan Masood recording his third successive duck.

Victory would confirm New Zealand’s ranking as Test cricket’s top team. They achieved the status provisionally with their first Test victory, but the International Cricket Council only confirms rankings at the end of a series.

On a day of rain interruptions in which an extended second session yielded New Zealand 201 runs, Pakistan’s attack was quickly dispirited, not helped by some sloppy fielding, with Williamson and Nicholls both dropped a number of times. Four Pakistan bowlers conceded 100-plus runs, with a fifth going for 98.

Mitchell claimed a maiden hundred in his fourth Test, reaching 102 off 112 balls before Williamson declared.

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