Pakistan remove Williamson after vital ton for New Zealand

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MOUNT MAUNGANUI, New Zealand, Dec 27, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – New Zealand captain
Kane Williamson produced a masterful 129 while Pakistan fought back with two
wickets in the opening session on day two of the first Test at Mount
Maunganui on Sunday.

At lunch, New Zealand had advanced from their overnight 222 for three to
be 301 for five.

The overnight batsmen Williamson and Henry Nicholls were the wickets to
fall after a 133-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

It was Williamson’s 23rd Test hundred, the most by a New Zealander, and
followed a career best 251 in his last outing against the West Indies.

Williamson missed the second West Indies Test to be with his wife Sarah
for the birth of their first child, but returned to the battle front with his
characteristic unflustered demeanour.

He took 14 deliveries to score his first runs of the morning, a two off
Shaheen Afridi to bring up the 100 partnership with Nicholls, and two overs
later he produced a classic cover drive to the boundary off Naseem Shah to
reach his century.

In the demanding conditions at Bay Oval it was Williamson’s slowest
century but one of the most valuable having gone to the middle when Tom
Latham was dismissed on the third ball of the Test.

Nicholls, backing up from a career best 174 in his last innings in the
second Test against the West Indies, resumed the day on 42 and worked his way
to 56 before he walked under bizarre circumstances.

In the first ball after the morning drinks break he did not seek a review
when given out, caught off the gloves by Shan Masood in the slips to give
Naseem Shah his first wicket.

Replays, however, showed the ball missed the gloves completely and hit the
batsman on the forearm.

There was no question about Williamson’s dismissal when a turning Yasir
Shah delivery caught the edge of the bat and Haris Sohail just managed to get
his fingers under the ball at ground level.