Williamson thrilled with effort in rain-hit draw
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was delighted with the performance his team put in against South Africa in the first four days of the third and final Test in Hamilton.
The Black Caps needed a win to share the series but were ultimately denied by the weather as persistent rain forced a draw in a match they had dominated.
Williamson’s 176 in New Zealand’s first innings was at the heart of a great display by an injury-hit New Zealand team, who went into the game without strike-bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee and also missing veteran batsman Ross Taylor.
The skipper had hoped they could dodge the rain somehow and squeeze in enough play to get a deserved win out of the match but his hopes were dashed by heavy showers.
Williamson was woken up by the rain which was a bad start to what he hoped would be a great day but he remained hopeful until the match was called off.
The captain said: “I was hoping it might stop or it might come a little bit early and fine up.”
The Black Caps had reduced the Proteas to 80 for 5 in their second innings with the South African top order suffering a collapse similar to the one the hosts endured in Wellington which ultimately cost them the series.
There were a lot of positives for New Zealand in this Test with Jeet Raval impressing up front and his opening partner Tom Latham returning to form as well.
Colin de Grandhomme’s aggressive half century allowed New Zealand to extend the advantage they had gained through Williamson’s record-equaling ton and the bowlers impressed especially young Matt Henry.
He added: “The guys picked up the roles they were given with a number of players out and ran with it. There was a great buzz amongst the group, although fairly inexperienced and young, the guys really took it on and had a good time and enjoyed themselves.”
Williamson admitted the series against South Africa has been tough but opined that his charges have learned a tremendous amount from the clashes.
In the end it was the batting collapse in Wellington that would see New Zealand shaded 1-0 by the Proteas but Williamson feels that they have gained a lot from this series despite that lapse in performance.
He went on: “You give a team like South Africa an inch and they run with it. That was perhaps a little frustrating but a good learning curve.
“We have the belief and what it takes. It would be nice to not have to bounce back. We do want to be more consistent in that area.”
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