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The best sight of Kane Williamson
on the third day of the third test was
not necessarily the immaculate stroke-
making on his way to an unbeaten 148,
but the manner in which he strode
from the ground.
With helmet and gloves fixed in place
and pelvis tilted for ward, he made a
beeline for the dressing room’s ice bath.
There was no pause to absorb the
adulation from the crowd or team-
mates. The New Zealand captain has
work to do if the weather continues to
flummox the water-logged forecasts.
He excelled aesthetically.
His checked back foot strokes
through cover point, drives either side
of the wicket and delicate late cuts were
executed with footwork that would
receive unanimous 10s on Dancing
With The Stars.
He excelled statistically.
Williamson reached his 17th test
century, equalling Martin Crowe’s New
He became the sixth New Zealander
to get 5000 test runs when he pulled
Vern Philander for six over square leg.
Williamson is the fastest in 110
innings, seven inside Crowe’s old mark.
At 26 years and 231 days he is also the
third youngest test player to complete
the feat behind Sachin Tendulkar and
His 190-run record second-wicket
stand with Jeet Raval (88) saw New
Zealand wrest back control at 321 for
four in reply to South Africa’s 314.
He excelled with his leadership.
An example was when he appeared
to get offered the light by the umpires
at 6.47pm; Williamson decided to
continue, thus maximising the chance
to score runs and advance the match.
Yet none of those factors would have
infiltrated the captain’s mindset as he
strode through the pickets at stumps.
The match result is the sole barometer
of success for cricket ’s patron saint of
Williamson made his lowest
test aggregate (3) at Wellington,
but shrugged off that cloak of
disappointment the moment he leant
into a cover drive off Morne Morkel
to go from two to six. From there he
was a picture of batting application.
His influence was further bolstered by
a rare test six — the 10th of his career
— on -driving Keshav Maharaj towards
the sightscreen and holding his shape.
Further sixes were pulled from Vern
Philander and Morkel.
The batting tended to be of low risk
and maximum impact, which tamed
South Africa in the field. Despite
accurate lines, bouncing the ball on
the used block strips to enhance its
reversing qualities, and intense pow-
wows between captain Faf du Plessis
and his bowlers, the visitors’ attack
could not penetrate the captain’s mental
or physical defensive shields.
Williamson benefited from what
was effectively a padded-up vacation
with Raval and Tom Latham posting
an opening stand of 83, beating the
previous first-wicket best of 18 by
either side in the series.
“ He (Williamson) is never satisfied
with a century,” Raval said. “ He wants
to get big runs to help the team into
a good position. I was lucky enough
to be at the other end. He’s so calm,
and knows his game. He senses each
situation well by soaking up the
pressure and then knowing how to
reapply it when they ’re a bit tired.”
“They left well,” Morkel said. “ They
played a patient game and waited for
us to attack by coming a bit straighter.
Then they scored.
“Kane was exceptional. It was a
fantastic innings. He’s a hard man to
bowl to.” — New Zealand Herald
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
The Johnston-McDonald Cup was
hotly contested in the veteran’s grade
at the Karamea axemen’s meeting at
the weekend, the final West Coast
meeting for the season.
Eight competed and Tony Dense
from Reefton won the cup, followed
closely by the evergreen cutter Denis
McLaughlin, from Ngahere. John
Waters from Murchison was third
and Charlie Morgan from Timaru
In the big chop of the day, the
Steer Johnson Cup, after three
heats the top 12 were found, which
included two fathers and sons.
First-year cutter Jack Stephens,
from Takaka, won the event followed
closely by Logan Tinomana,
formerly of Karamea and now
Christchurch, Willie Abel (Picton)
and Gary Duffy (Canterbury).
The Last Resort Challenge was
held on Sunday and the Karamea
chop was the last opportunity for
axemen to collect points for the
Points are won over the season and
the eight choppers with the most
points cut off in the challenge.
This year Owen Wratt, the young
axeman from Inangahua, cleaned up
to win convincingly from young Jack
Stephens, from Takaka. Results p9
Greymouth speedway ace
Brandon Parkinson was in top
form on Friday night, breaking
the lap record twice at the
Woodford Glen Speedway
modified invasion meeting, in
Parkinson and three other
Greymouth drivers Steve
Thompson, Atama Holland,
Tyler Stanton and Iain Whyte
competed against 22 cars from
all over New Zealand, including
Huntly and Wellington.
Parkinson won the first heat
with an impressive drive and very
He was running up by the
wall, which entertained the
crowd. D uring that race
Parkinson broke the lap record
His fastest time was 15.6217s.
Thompson had held the lap
record since last season, the West
Coast drivers proving hard to
The final night was supposed
to be raced on Saturday, however
it was postponed due to the
Parkinson is sitting in first
position, with the same points as
Huntly driver Bradley Lane.
This weekend Parkinson will
race in Huntly at the Speedfest
meeting and the following
weekend he and Thompson will
attend the Dirt Cup, in
Winners of Last Resort Challenge — sponsor Ed Tinomana, back left, Ross Birchfield (Nelson) third, Tom Daly (Ngahere) fourth,
Tim and Willie Abel (Picton), Charlie Morgan (Timaru), Denis McLaughlin (Ngahere), Jack Stephens (Takaka) second, front left, and
16-year-old winner Owen Wratt, from Inangahua.
Chopping cups hotly contested
Tony Dense wedges for former Hokitika axeman Adam Lowe, now of Nelson, in the rain at the
Karamea chops at the weekend.
Leading New Zealand road
professional George Bennett has
continued his impressive start
to 2017 by finishing ninth in
cycling’s Tour of Catalunya in
Bennett was ninth across the
line in the seventh and final stage
in Barcelona, leaving the Team
LottoNI-Jumbo rider just over
three minutes behind Spanish
tour winner Alejandro Valverde
The result comes a month after
Bennett opened his 2017 World
Tour campaign with a seventh
placing on general classification
at the four-day Abu Dhabi Tour.
Bennett ’s form belies a difficult
off-season spoiled by glandular
fever. He was delighted with his
performance in Spain and praised
the teamwork of his Dutch outfit.
“Great week ripping around
the hood with the boys,” Bennett
said. “Seriously hard at moments
but one of our best as a team.”
Bennett, 26, is coming off a
breakthrough 2016 in which the
highlight was his 10th placing at
the Tour of Spain. — NZ N
Bennett happy with ninth in Spanish tour
smashes more records
PICTURE: Mainland Photos
Greymouth speedway driver Brandon Parkinson in action at Woodford Glen Speedway on Friday
night. He broke the lap record twice.
Parkinson aces lap record
Black Caps captain Kane Williamson was caught out just before lunch for 176.
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