New Zealand’s experienced batter Kane Williamson surpassed Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and former Australia batter Don Bradman in the Test hundreds list on Sunday. Williamson went unbeaten with a score of 112(259) at the end of Day 1 against South Africa at the Bay Oval. The veteran batter kicked off 2024 with a strong outing scoring his 30th Test century and stitching up an unbeaten 219-run stand with Rachin Ravindra (118*). With his 30th Test century, Willamson surpassed Kohli and Bradman’s tally of 29 centuries. He also levelled England batter Joe Root’s total of 30 Test centuries. India captain Rohit Sharma has 10 Test tons in his red-ball international career so far.

After New Zealand were reduced to 39/2, Williamson showed his experience and was almost flawless throughout the day. He suffered a couple of hiccups but overcame them to score 112* before the stumps were called. He got nearly run out when Ravindra on his fifth ball tried to take a quick single, but the throw narrowly missed the target. If Williamson had been dismissed, the hosts would have succumbed to 44/3. (No Virat Kohli For IND vs ENG 3rd Test, India Star Likely To Extend Leave: Report)

Even Rachin avoided an early scare after Moreki forced out an inside edge which marginally missed his stumps. From that point Williamson and Rachin a combination of methodical and brimming talent made South Africa pay for their lack of experience and missed opportunities.

They batted with patience in the second session facing 27 overs and scoring just 60 runs. The second session was a story of letting the ball go and blocking the ones that threatened their stumps.

As the day progressed the batting conditions became more suitable but South Africa continued to create openings. Rachin edged the ball and saw Duanne Olivier getting both his hands to the ball but couldn’t get a hold of it. Both batters went unbeaten at the end of the day putting New Zealand in complete control. (With ANI inputs)

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