Williamson ton leads New Zealand to their first Test series win over South Africa

South Africa

New Zealand 211 (Williamson 43, Piedt 5-89) and 269 for 3 (Williamson 133*, Young 60*, Piedt 3-93) beat South Africa 242 (de Swardt 64, O’Rourke 4-59) and 235 (Bedingham 110, O’Rourke 5-34) by seven wickets

Kane Williamson‘s measured fourth-innings century made it all quite comfortable for New Zealand as they pulled off a record chase – the highest at Hamilton’s Seddon Park – to complete their first Test series win over South Africa, a 2-0 sweep.
For Williamson, the unbeaten 133 in Hamilton means he now has seven centuries in seven Tests – he missed out in Dhaka late last year but made up for it with back-to-back hundreds in the first Test against South Africa in Mount Maunganui. On Friday, alongside Will Young, who scored 60 not out, Williamson put on an unbroken 152-run stand for the fourth wicket to take New Zealand home with seven wickets in hand.

It was a classic Williamson innings, where he was challenged by the variable bounce and turn on the surface, but remained unfazed and went about his business calmly.

Resuming the day at 40 for 1, New Zealand’s focus was on getting through the early exchanges without much damage, but they lost Tom Latham early, Dane Piedt getting his second for the innings and his seventh for the game. Piedt later made it three and eight when he sent back Rachin Ravindra, but that’s all the success South Africa had on the day. The scoring rate was low – New Zealand scored 67 and 66 in the first two sessions, respectively – but with a solid Williamson around, New Zealand were never really in any trouble.

After scoring 44 in the morning, Williamson quietly moved to 92 by the end of the afternoon, punching off the back foot, putting away short balls to deep midwicket, and twice charging down the track to hit flat sixes. By tea, New Zealand had put themselves in a solid position at 173 for 3, 94 away from victory. They got there, after Williamson’s century and Young’s half-century, in the final session without any hiccups.

Williamson got to his 32nd Test century – he has now converted each of his last eight 50-plus scores – not long before the second new ball was taken.

Young embraced the support role well, and soaked up the pressure to get to his fifty off 118 balls. Unlike in the first innings, where he fell for 36 when taking the aggressive route, he was patient, but still found the boundary eight times. He was given out caught behind off Shaun von Berg in the 62nd over, when he was on 8, but the decision was overturned on review.

For South Africa, Piedt beat the bat multiple times, and seamer Dane Paterson was disciplined in his bowling. However, there wasn’t much else to talk about.

Debutant quick Will O’ Rourke was named the Player of the Match for his nine wickets in the Test, while Williamson took back the series award for his 403 runs across two Tests.

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