New Zealand v England: first Test:Rain ruins second day


Auckland:Only 23.1 overs were possible on the second day in Auckland as steady rain prevented no more than 90 minutes of play. New Zealand’s best Test batsman Kane Williamson, though, brightened up a gloomy afternoon with his 18th Test hundred, passing Martin Crowe and Ross Taylor to become the country’s leading century-maker. He eventually fell for 102 shortly after the tea break, lbw to James Anderson, England’s only wicket of the day.

Williamson reached the landmark with a trademark glide towards gully. In the company of Henry Nicholls, Williamson added 22 runs in 10 overs prior to heavy rain forcing an early tea 40 minutes into the first session.

Under cloudy skies, Anderson found some movement with the new ball after the break. In the fourth over since resumption, Williamson had shuffled too far across against a prodigious inswinger from Anderson. An optimistic review didn’t save him.

Nicholls, at the other end, showed admirable patience and a tight defensive technique, repeatedly leaving balls outside off stump he didn’t need to play, and only venturing into an attacking shot if the bowlers erred in his areas.

BJ Watling, after missing the West Indies Tests due to a hip injury, struck three fours in his unbeaten 17, helping New Zealand stretch their significant first-innings advantage to 171 before periodic spells of rain wiped out the rest of the day.

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