Williamson hits century as England are put on the back foot at Lord’s

Kane Williamson hit a controlled 132 runs as New Zealand posted a mammoth first innings total of 523 in reply to England’s 389, to give them the initiative over the hosts at the end of day three on the first Test.

This century was Williamson’s ninth of his career, and the fifth since February 2014, as the 24 year-old continues to have a remarkable year in Test cricket.

The Black Caps have a lead of 60 runs at the end of the day after England reached 72-2 at close of play.

Williamson began the day in the nervous nineties as he had his eyes set on the eight runs required to reach yet another landmark.

After the English first innings departures of both Joe Root and Ben Stokes, who both fell just shy of centuries, the New Zealand batsman did not hang about, and within just five minutes of the restart, had reached his ton, and his first against England, with the score at 313-2.

In just the very next ball, it was his partner Ross Taylor celebrating a solid half-century, after the pair had built a big partnership on the previous day, knocking the ball around the park.

Stuart Broad eventually got the breakthrough after the new ball was taken, with Jos Butler acrobatically catching Taylor down the leg-side for 62, ending the 189 run partnership, with the score at 337-3.

Captain Brendan McCullum was next in and he did not take long to play himself in, hitting a quick-fire 42 runs off 38 balls lifting the Kiwis to the 400 mark.

He was dismissed shortly after with a huge top edge, and it was a welcome wicket for debutant Mark Wood, with Root taking the catch down at third man.

Williamson continued to frustrate the English attack and had luck on his side, after being dropped by Ian Bell on 120.

Luckily for England though, he did not capitalise on his good fortune, and finally fell for 132 off the bowling of Moeen Ali, but the damage had already been done with New Zealand now at 470-6.

Momentum then started to swing the way of the hosts as they picked up three wickets for just the loss of 23 runs.

However, wicket keeper BJ Watling stood firm as the wickets fell at the other end, and hit a composed 62 not out helping the tourists to 523.

Trailing by 134 runs, England got off to another poor start, losing two wickets for just 25 runs, with Adam Lyth and Gary Ballance falling for 12 and a duck respectively.

Captain Alistair Cook and Ian Bell stabilised the innings with a 49 run partnership, and lost no further wickets, as the Three Lions ended the day on 74-2, reducing the deficit to 60 runs.

They will resume day four on 32 and 29 respectively, as they look to wipe out the Kiwi’s lead, and set a competitive target.

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By Matthew Tilbury, Image credits to ECB.