It was just a little dab backward of point for one but with the single early on day two of the weather-affected pink ball test at Eden Park, Kane Williamson broke a New Zealand batting record that has stood since 1994.

He reached his 18th test hundred to go past the late Martin Crowe's feat of 17 test tons, the last of which he made against England at Old Trafford in July 1994.

Typically, Williamson just took his helmet off, politely waved to the crowd and teammates and got back to his work. No histrionics and personal acclaim — just all about what he needs to do for the team.

He and Crowe could not be more different in their personalities on and off the cricket arena but they share all the qualities the great batsmen have, particularly how they play fast bowling and use their feet to the cunning wrist spinners.


I was lucky enough to be at Lord's in London in 1986 and 1994 to see Crowe score test match centuries against England. Crowe was a level above everyone else, powerful off the back foot through the off-side, quick to pull anything short through midwicket and superb straight down the ground with a wall-like defence.

While the colossal talent that is Ross Taylor is still around, Williamson is not quite the dominant force in the New Zealand team Crowe was just yet. But reaching his peak as a batsman aged 27, there are many, many years of delight ahead for New Zealand cricket fans.

And let's not forget he is a proud Tauranga boy. Williamson's talent and desire to score runs was obvious as he set records at each stage going through Pillans Point Primary, Otumoetai Intermediate and Tauranga Boys' College. He has not stopped breaking records since.

His work ethic is unsurpassed in the New Zealand team, preferring extra nets to playing golf, but is nothing new. As a 10 and 11-year-old he would spend hours late into the night hitting a ball in a sock in the garage at home. Middling the ball each time no doubt.

I have fond memories of sitting on the bank at Pemberton Park with his father Brett and some other astute men I played with and against for Greerton and Otumoetai Cadets.

Kane went into bat for Tauranga Boys' at first drop against a sharp pace attack. Batting in a wide-brimmed hat on a lively wicket, his ability to punch good length balls off the back foot for four through point and the covers stood out. He was in complete charge from the moment he took guard.

Just two seasons later Kane was already established in the Northern Districts team. I arranged an interview with him at the Eden Park nets before he played against Auckland. It was fascinating to see someone so young so fixated on getting his on-drive just right.

Echoes of a young Martin Crowe doing the same thing with his father at Cornwall Park cricket nets a few kilometres away many years earlier.


Work ethic, attitude, unrelenting desire and a humble approach have got Williamson where he is now. Another cut from a similar cricketing blueprint is Trent Boult, who scuppered England's finest on day one of the test in taking a career-best 6-32.

The former Tauranga Intermediate and Otumoetai College student first bowled to Williamson at intermediate level. Any footage of that time would be fascinating to watch. Both are at the peak of their powers and continue to do their city and country proud.

Long may it continue.