Kane Williamson became the fastest New Zealander to 5 000 Test runs, as his solid partnership with Jeet Raval got the Black Caps to 209-1 by tea.
Williamson took 110 innings to achieve the feat, beating Ross Taylor by 20 innings and doing it one quicker than Graeme Smith. The important thing right now, is that he’s helped his side get past the 200 mark with only one wicket down.
There was a milestone for Morne Morkel too, on the rain-delayed start to day three at Seddon Park, as he became only the sixth South African to take 250 Test wickets with the wicket of Tom Latham for 50. But that’s as good as it has been for the tourists all day, as the Black Caps have gone just 105 runs within their total.
After Quinton de Kock’s 90 inspired the Proteas to 314, Latham and Raval took their side to 67-0 by the close of day two, and continued the hard work on Monday morning, with Latham returning to form with a 13th Test half-century. De Kock took a fine low catch to see off Latham behind the stumps.
Williamson settled in very quickly with the pressure off somewhat, and despite rain threatening to ruin the second session, the Hamilton skies held up for its entirety, allowing Williamson and Raval to build. Raval brought up his half-century just before the close of the first session, and has a chance now to become the first New Zealand opener to score a century since 1953.
The pair soaked up the pressure as Morkel and Kagiso Rabada chose to bowl quite short at one end, with Keshav Maharaj bowling throughout most of the spell at the other. Starting the session on 27, Williamson eased to his fifty off 88 balls, and brought up 5 000 runs with a crushing six off Vernon Philander over square leg.
Their 100-run stand came up a few overs before the close of the session. A maiden Test century lies in wait now for Javal (75), while a New Zealand record-equalling 17th Test century isn’t too far off for Williamson (80) as they go in to the final session on 209-1.
Photo: Dave Rowland/Getty Images