Pakistan on back foot after Williamson ton

Pakistan on back foot after Williamson ton

Kane Williamson posted his third century in consecutive matches this summer and shared an unbroken 215-run partnership with Henry Nicholls which steered New Zealand close to a first-innings lead over Pakistan on the second day of the second cricket Test.

Williamson's burgeoning 215-run stand with Henry Nicholls, who was batting on 89, helped the hosts finish day two on a strong 286-3 in reply to Pakistan's first innings total of 297.

Williamson's century was his 24th in Tests and again came at a crucial time for New Zealand as it played under the pressure of Pakistan’s impressive first innings total, achieved as it batted first after losing the toss.

New Zealand are already 1-0 up in the series and need only a draw to rise to the top of the world rankings for the first time.

New Zealand lost three wickets on either side of lunch Tom Latham (33) and Tom Blundell (16) after a 52-run opening partnership and Ross Taylor (12) early in the second session when it was in trouble at 71-3.

Williamson and Nicholls batted slowly, cautiously through the middle session to re-establish the innings, adding only 79 runs and grafting the first 50 runs of their partnership from 105 balls.

But Williamson accelerated as tea approached, taking a series of boundaries close to the interval and keeping up the tempo into the evening session as the aging ball made the Pakistan attack less threatening.

Pakistan was helpless as New Zealand's total mounted and as they watched their first-innings total almost eclipsed.