There was celebratory buzz when Kane Williamson became New Zealand’s leading run-
scorer in the classical format during the second Test against England at Wellington. The classy right-hander achieved the milestone during his epic century in the second innings – when New Zealand were made to follow on in the face of a 226-run deficit. That New Zealand managed to set England a sizeable target was admirable, but the one-run victory is
In the 150-year history of Test cricket, in nearly 2500 matches, it is only the fourth occasion
where a team has won following on. Fans in India will be familiar with the feeling having
experienced the high of Kolkata 2001, where VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid’s epic
partnership followed by Harbhajan Singh’s great spell scripted a comeback for the ages
against Steve Waugh’s formidable Australians.
Williamson walked in at 149 for one – with New Zealand still staring down the barrel. The
openers had provided a good start but New Zealand needed to show more fight to have a
chance of coming back into the game. The right-hander batted with typical resolve –
spending close to five hours at the crease to stitch together 132. With contributions from
the middle order, New Zealand were able to take their lead past 250 and give their bowlers
something to bowl at. The ‘barest of margins’ of victory only added more romance to the
greatness of the effort.
Williamson’s innings will not only be one of the greatest for New Zealand but will go down
as one of the finest rescue acts in Test cricket’s history. This knock will be mentioned
alongside the Laxman-Dravid heroics of Kolkata 2001, Ian Botham’s Houdini Act of 1981 and
Albert Ward’s century way back in 1894 – when England became the first team in Test
history to win after following on. Williamson was already recognised as one of New
Zealand’s all-time greats but this knock has now pushed him to higher echelons.
The Gujarat Titans family congratulates Kane Williamson and the New Zealand team on this
momentous victory. It is a moment in history cricket fans, irrespective of nationality, will
cherish and remember!