Cricket: Williamson's record breaking effort

Kane Williamson's unbeaten 145 in New Zealand's victory over South Africa in Kimberley this morning ensured he pinched a record from Northern Knights team-mate Scott Styris. Photo / AP
Kane Williamson's unbeaten 145 in New Zealand's victory over South Africa in Kimberley this morning ensured he pinched a record from Northern Knights team-mate Scott Styris. Photo / AP

Kane Williamson's unbeaten 145 in New Zealand's victory over South Africa in Kimberley this morning ensured he pinched a record from Northern Knights team-mate Scott Styris.

Williamson's knock was the highest score by a New Zealander against a top-eight test playing nation in a one-day game and surpassed Styris' 141 against Sri Lanka at the 2003 World Cup.

His 136-ball innings, which included 17 fours and one six, was also the sixth-equal highest score by a New Zealander in a one-dayer. The higher totals all came against minnows such as Ireland, Zimbabwe and the United States.

Williamson made his runs while battling cramp and his 127-run partnership with Grant Elliott (48) for the third wicket was the most crucial stand in the game.

"I was cramping up. I just got regular drinks and took a few cramp tablets and things and it seemed to ease off a little bit," Williamson said of his time in the middle.

In his typically understated fashion, Williamson said he was just pleased to put some runs on the board as his 207-minute vigil laid the groundwork for New Zealand to record their first series victory over the Proteas in South Africa in any form of the game.

"It was very nice to contribute in that fashion in that match and then it was very pleasing to play the second innings like we did with the fielding effort that we showed.

"We were probably behind the game at one point and our fielding effort was a little bit flat perhaps and then one run-out and the wicket of Graeme Smith and things like that just lifted the team and we sort of got in to a bit of a zone really in the field."

Williamson's next challenge will be to add more consistency to his output.

The 22-year-old has scored three centuries in test and one-day cricket since his debut in 2010 but, as is often the case with young players, there have been plenty of low scores between the big numbers.

Williamson has moved around the batting order in test and one-day cricket, but No 3 is where he does his best work.

In 35 one-day games for New Zealand, Williamson has returned three 50s to go alongside as many centuries but there have also been nine scores under 10.

In the test arena his 20 appearances have yielded three tons and five half centuries, but 11 times he has been sent on his way with a single-figure score next to his game and his career average sits at only 30.27.

New Zealand have the chance to record a rare clean sweep in the final game of the series against South Africa on Saturday morning (NZT) and Williamson would love to add another big score to his collection.

- APNZ

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