Record-equalling Williamson ton puts New Zealand on top

Kane Williamson's superb 176 nearly exactly measured New Zealand's first-innings advantage over South Africa in the third cricket test Tuesday before a top order collapse left the Proteas' second innings in disarray at stumps on day four.

Raval, who resumed the day on 25, carefully gathered ones and twos as he stymied South African quicks Morkel, Philander and Kagiso Rabada while Williamson chased runs wherever he could get them.

On Monday, Jeet Raval also tallied a patient 88 in a 190-run stand with Williamson.

South Africa lead the series‚ but victory for New Zealand would level matters. Find us on Facebook too!

But with New Zealand's progress painfully slow, its objective in the match was not immediately apparent.

He achieved the second highest score by a New Zealand batsman against South Africa - only bettered by Stephen Fleming's 262 at Cape Town in 2006. And he is doing it at a time when New Zealand's line-up is fragile.

South Africa's assistant coach Adrian Birrell admitted Tuesday was a bad day - featuring a calamitous run-out of debutant opener Theunis de Bruyn, but predicts the tourists are still capable of salvaging a draw and a series win.

As New Zealand versus South Africa series was the last series to finish before the April 1 annual cut-off, South Africa's number-two ranking has won it an award of five lakh dollars, while Australia has collected two lakh dollars. He hung his bat out to give the lanky pacer his 250th Test wicket, and walked back to the pavilion soon after registering his fifty.

South Africa toiled for 78.3 overs for the four wickets they took on a day that ended with the home side seven runs ahead‚ with six wickets standing‚ and with Kane Williamson entrenched on 148 not out. Latham, who managed 24 in total in three previous innings in the series, put his string of low scores behind him to ensure a positive start to New Zealand's reply with Jeetan Raval, who was 25 not out at stumps.

The 26-year-old, who was on 80 at the break, has 16 test centuries, the same as injured team mate Ross Taylor, with the record of 17 held by former captain Martin Crowe.

Williamson worked the ball to all parts of the ground including a six off Keshav Maharaj over the bowler's head. For that reason, they have to make a blistering start today and rack up a lead of well over 200 by the middle of the second session, then go on the front and get the Proteas back in.

Kagiso Rabada (2/83) followed that with a double of his own when he dislodged Neil Broom (12) and Henry Nicholls (0) with successive deliveries.

  • Zachary Reyes