Bangladesh 174-4 at stumps on Day 3 of 1st test vs NZ
HAMILTON, New Zealand (AP) — Kane Williamson completed a meticulous double century and New Zealand compiled its highest score in tests to extend its domination of the first cricket test against Bangladesh through the third day Saturday.
Williamson struck a four from the last ball of the innings to reach 200 not out before declaring New Zealand’s innings at 715-6, a lead of 481 runs.
Bangladesh began its second innings boldly, reaching 88-0 with the help of first innings century-maker Tamim Iqbal who posted his 26th half century before falling for 74. In a repeat of the first innings, when it collapsed from 121-1 to be all out for 234, it faltered and was 174-4 at stumps with Soumya Sarkar 39 not out and captain Mahmudullah 15.
Centuries by its first three batsmen ensured New Zealand substantially improved on its previous test best score of 690, achieved against Pakistan in Sharjah in 2014.
Tom Latham made 161 and Jeet Raval 132 in a record 254-run opening partnership — New Zealand’s best since 1972 and only the fifth time both New Zealand openers have scored centuries in the same innings.
Williamson’s innings then propelled New Zealand on to its highest test total, which ground down the Bangladesh bowlers and opened the way to likely victory in the first match of the three-match series.
“Kane was sublime today,” New Zealand batting coach Craig McMillan said. “We quite often say he makes batting look easy and we know it’s not easy at all. But he just got in his wee bubble out there and stuck to a nice tempo out there; when they missed he hurt them.
“He rotated the strike nicely with his batting partners, created those partnerships and before you know it you look up at the scoreboard and he’s got 200 next to his name.”
Williamson has become a relentless run-scoring machine for New Zealand with 20 centuries and 29 half centuries in 71 tests at an average of 52. He has now scored almost 900 runs in the eight tests New Zealand has played in the past year, with a double century, two centuries and three half centuries in that time.
Williamson has lifted himself to second place on world test batting rankings, behind India captain Virat Kohli, and on Saturday became only the fourth New Zealander after Stephen Fleming, Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor to pass 6,000 runs in tests.
He was supported in boosting New Zealand to a record total Saturday by nightwatchman Neil Wagner who reached a test-best score of 47 — beating his previous best by 10 runs — and by Colin de Grandhomme who smashed an unbeaten 76 from 53 balls with five sixes, one of which left the ground to mingle with traffic.
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