Williamson overtakes Taylor as New Zealand's all-time highest Test run score

By Sports Desk February 26, 2023

Kane Williamson has surpassed Ross Taylor to become New Zealand's all-time highest run scorer in Test cricket with his second-innings performance against England.

The former captain headed into day four of the second Test in Wellington needing just four runs to overtake his former team-mate's haul of 7,683.

Williamson achieved the feat with his first runs of the day, clipping James Anderson through mid-wicket boundary in the opening over to reach 7,684.

The top-order batter, widely considered one of the finest players of his generation, has long been expected to surpass the figure, and does so in his 92nd Test match.

He guided the Black Caps to success in the inaugural World Test Championship in 2021, beating India in the final after back-to-back silver-medal finishes in the World Cup.

Between 2016 and 2022, he captained New Zealand in 40 Tests, before relinquishing his red-ball command last December to Tim Southee, though he remains white-ball skipper.

New Zealand are looking to bounce back from a first Test loss to England, after a 267-run defeat at Mount Maunganui.

They struggled in their first innings, mustering just 209 in response to the tourists' total of 435, with Ben Stokes forcing them to follow on.

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    Despite lacking the power of his big-hitting counterparts, Chase has proven that he can be effective in the game’s shortest format. Since his debut at the 2021 World Cup, he has so far played 12 T20Is for West Indies and has tallied 143 runs with a strike rate of 110.0, with 10 wickets for 212 runs to his name.

    The 32-year-old, who recently captained Windies 'A' team to a 3-2 series victory away to Nepal, and is currently serving as vice-captain to stand-in captain Brandon King for the regional side’s three-match warm-up series against South Africa, is confident in his abilities, regardless of what others think.

    “People may not necessarily know the intricate details that go into playing a cricket match. I'm not one of the big superstars that may hit the ball 100 metres or bowl at 90 miles per hour or take a five-wicket haul or anything like that, but I think I still play a key and vital role in the team,” Chase said in a Cricket West Indies (CWI) interview.

    “So people just tend to see me chipping in here and they say, 'Chase ain't no good.' But I know what I can do, my teammates know what I can do, and the coaches know what I can do. But at the end of the day everyone has their own opinion,” he added.

    With 49 Test matches to his name, Chase’s credentials in that format speaks for themselves, as he been a steady middle-order batsman since his 2016 debut. He is one of only four West Indian, after Denis Atkinson, Collie Smith and Garry Sobers, to take a five-wicket haul and score a hundred in a Test –a feat he achieved in his second Test, at Sabina Park.

    The Barbadian rose to prominence in T20s during the 2021 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season, when he finished as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) after a tally of 446 runs and 10 wickets. He also assisted St Lucia Kings to the final –their second in CPL history –in that 2021 season.

    That performance resulted in his inclusion for the 2021 T20 World Cup, where he played the last three matches in West Indies' failed campaign as they were eliminated at the group stage. He next featured for the Windies in a 3-0 series loss away to India in February 2022, before being discarded from the T20 setup for just over a year.

    Now back in the team, Chase is determined to prove his worth, with both bat and ball, and his performance in Thursday’s opening warm-up contest against South Africa, underscored that much.

    The right-hander, who bowls off spin, played an anchor role in West Indies innings and scored an unbeaten 30-ball 32, before returning to take one wicket for 12 runs from two overs, in the 28-run win at Sabina Park.

    "I know that I don't have a lot of variations, so I just try to think as quickly as I can on my feet and I try to be as smart as I can, especially with the ball. I know my role is kind of the power-play bowler, so I think that's probably one of the hardest jobs outside of death bowling," Chase shared.

    "You have to want to bowl in the power play. It's a tough job, but I always try to go into it with a clear mind and strong belief,” he noted.

    With the World Cup now exactly one week away, Chase pointed out that West Indies –who will co-host with the United States –need to fine tune their all-around approach against the Proteas.

    The second and third encounters are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, also in Kingston. West Indies, who won T20 titles in 2012 and 2016, will open their World Cup account against Papua New Guinea, on June 2, in Guyana.

    “I think this is a time for us to just get our tactics and strategies right and get the guys gelling," Chase declared.

    “Obviously, the areas we have been weak in over the past couple of series, in terms of controlling the power play in the bowling aspect – I think that's one area, once we tend to do well in the game, we usually come out on top,” he ended.

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    Sunrisers Hyderabad impact player Shahbaz Ahmed set the tone as they held off Rajasthan Royals’ chase for a 36-run victory on Friday to reach the Indian Premier League final.

    SRH will face Kolkata Knight Riders in the showpiece after losing the opening qualifier against them earlier this week.

    The hosts originally struggled to get going as Travis Head was caught for 34 off 28 balls before Trent Boult took 3-45 in his four overs to put the Royals in control.

    Heinrich Klaasen crafted a fine 50 to get the Sunrisers back on track before they were forced into introducing Ahmed in the first innings, though it looked like that gamble might not pay off as he was taken in Avesh Khan’s impressive 3-27.

    SRH set a target of 176 for the Royals to chase, and Yashasvi Jaiswal raced to 41 off 19 balls – including three boundaries – before Abdul Samad caught him to halt their progress.

    Ahmed’s inclusion proved inspired as he took 3-23 in a ruthless bowling display from SRH, including a 33-ball period where they did not concede a single boundary.

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    Head now has 402 runs in the powerplay in the IPL this year, becoming only the second batter to cross the 400-run mark in the powerplay in a single season in the competition (David Warner – 467 in 2016).

    Despite being on the losing side, Boult played a major role in trying to keep down the Sunrisers' run count. He has now taken 29 wickets in the first over in all IPL cricket (he has bowled the first over of a match 93 times).

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    In a bid to foster a deeper appreciation for cricket among the youth of the Caribbean, Cricket West Indies (CWI) provided tickets for students and teachers, as well as members of Jamaica’s age-group teams to enjoy the three-match series between West Indies and South Africa at Sabina Park.

    The initiative which CWI says forms part of its corporate social responsibility efforts. The regional body provided 2,685 tickets to students, 412 to teachers, and 198 tickets to players from the Under-15, Under-17 and Uner-19 teams, ensuring these young athletes have the chance to experience top-tier cricket action.

    The Schools Ticketing Programme, a central element of this initiative, is designed to immerse young minds in the thrill of cricket, offering them the opportunity to witness international matches and develop a lasting passion for the sport.

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    "We are keen to help revitalize cricket in Jamaica. Introducing the children to cricket is vital for the future of the sport in Jamaica and the entire region. By bringing students to these matches, we are not only providing them with an enjoyable experience but also nurturing an appreciation and love for cricket that can grow with them,” Shallow said.

    "This Schools Ticketing Programme initiative is about more than just watching a game; it's about creating a connection with the sport that can inspire future generations,” he added.

    Recently-elected Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) President Dr. Donovan Bennett, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative and its potential impact.

    "We are thrilled to collaborate with CWI for this Schools Ticketing Programme. This initiative promotes cricket and instils values of teamwork, discipline, and perseverance in our young people," he said.

    "By exposing students to live cricket matches, they are getting a deeper understanding and appreciation for the game. This experience is invaluable for their personal and athletic development,” Dr. Bennett noted.

    West Indies won Thursday’s first game by 28 runs. The remaining two matches of the series are scheduled for Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 at the same venue. Start time is 2:00pm.

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