Sport

New Zealand's rise to top began with calamity in South Africa

New Zealand's rise to top began with calamity in South Africa”

Striding to the crease with New Zealand on 452-5, the prospect of scoring a maiden test match century had not even entered Daryl Mitchell's mind.

How long New Zealand's reign at the top will last depends on the outcome of the current four-Test series between Australia and India, which is locked at 1-1.

Kane Williamson has potentially ended the series with an average close to 200 in the two Tests and his exploits have ensured New Zealand stay in contention for the final of the ICC World Test Championship that will be played in Lord's in June 2021. The Australian team is in second place.

Williamson, now the world's number-one-ranked Test batsman, top-scored with 13.

Less than a year into his Test career, Kyle Jamieson is already the toast of New Zealand and being compared to the country's cricketing greats, but despite stunning figures he considers himself still a work in progress. The Blackcaps, with 118 points, are 2 points ahead of Australia and 4 points ahead of India, who are at third place.

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Pakistan 297 and 186 all out (Azhar Ali 37, Zafar Gohar 37; Kyle Jamieson 6/48) lose to New Zealand 659/6 dec by an innings and 176 runs.

A classic century by Kane Williamson in a 215-run stand with Henry Nicholls hauled New Zealand into a strong position at 286 for three at stumps on day two of the second Test against Pakistan on Monday.

With New Zealand in trouble, Williamson was all patience as he took 70 deliveries to reach 20, but he then put the foot down. Nicholls' score follows his personal best 174 in the second against the West Indies and his 56 in the first test of this series. "That's a continuation and something we will try to focus on and try to improve", Kane Williamson said in the press conference.

"It's hard to talk about until the Test summer was over, so it's nice to sit back and perhaps take a moment and enjoy the moment".

"Obviously under Brendon the drastic changes in terms of the culture started things off to a large extent", Williamson said after Wednesday's victory in Christchurch, referring to the team's more aggressive approach to the game. Where Pakistan's drubbing in New Zealand exposed their long-known batting weaknesses related to pace and swing, their poor fielding has surpassed their batting as the biggest factor causing the defeat.



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