Kane Williamson surpassed 7,000 test runs and Henry Nicholls completed his seventh test century as New Zealand built a 103-run lead over Pakistan by lunch today on the third day of the second cricket test.
Williamson was 153 not out and Nicholls was 138 in a record partnership for New Zealand’s fourth wicket against all nations which was worth 329 at the break.
New Zealand resumed this morning at 286-3, just 11 runs short of Pakistan’s first innings of 297. Williamson posted his 24th test century on the second day and resumed at 112 and Nicholls, who is impeded by a calf injury, was 89.
Despite his injury Nicholls was given the all-clear to continue his innings and he reached his century from 212 balls in 287 minutes with 10 fours. His innings was far from chanceless: he was caught behind at 3 but reprieved by a no-ball call and dropped by Mohammad Rizwan off Shaheen Afridi at 86.
Nicholls offered another chance on day three but was dropped by Azhar Ali at gully and, on 133, offered a sharp return catch to Naseem Shah which the bowler couldn’t hold.
At 123 Williamson passed 7,000 career runs in tests, joining Ross Taylor (7,379) and Stephen Fleming (7,172) as one of only New Zealanders who have reached that mark. When his partnership with Nicholls reached 272 it became New Zealand’s highest for the fourth wicket, exceeding the 271 by Taylor and Jesse Ryder against India at Napier in 2009.
Nicholls' injury caused him obvious discomfort, especially when running between wickets. He did as much as he could to overcome the inconvenience by striking 15 fours and a six.
Williamson faced 247 balls to pass 150 for the eighth time in his career, looking at his best when he unleashed his cover drive.
His current innings follows his career-best 251 in the first test against the West Indies this summer and his 129 in the first test against Pakistan. Nicholls’ score follows his personal best 174 in the second against the West Indies and his 56 in the first test of this series.
New Zealand scored briskly, adding 114runs in the session from 28 overs.