2015 Test Century Watch #23 – Kane Williamson

Kane TwoKane Williamson – 132 v England at Lord’s

Test century number two for the year for Kane Williamson as his reputation was enhanced with a cool and brilliantly compiled century at the home of North London cricket. It was the 14th test  century made by a New Zealander at Lord’s and moved him into 4th in the highest scores made there by a BlackCap. It was the highest score for 21 years by a New Zealander, and he trailed Martin Crowe (142 in 1994), Bevan Congdon (175 in 1973) and Martin Donnelly (206 in 1949) for scores made there.

This was the 229th test century made at Lord’s. He moves level with Ajit Agarkar, and one ahead of Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting. Did you know that Robert Key has the 6th highest test score made at Lord’s. But enough of that… It’s the 104th ton by a visiting player to the MCC’s private club venue.

So Dmitri, have you seen a 132? No. There have been 29 in total in test matches, with the previous 132 made by Graeme Smith in St. Kitts against the West Indies in June 2010. The “nearest” I came to seeing one was when Marcus Trescothick made that score at Durban when England set about a large deficit in the first innings to almost turn a terrible position into a win. I flew into South Africa than night, and went to the next test in Cape Town.

Three players have made 132 twice in tests. Marcus Trescothick is one (his other was at Headingley against New Zealand in 2004), as are Graeme Smith and Patsy Hendren. The first ever 132 was made by a relatively topical name, even if the 132 was made in 1892. It was an unbeaten score made at Sydney, and the scorer of it was the man who holds the record first class score for Surrey, Bobby Abel.

The “Guv’nor” was a great crowd favourite for many years at the Oval, where he was the one reliable bat in a strong Surrey side. Of small stature (5’4″), and serious demeanour, he had an unconventional technique, with a bent for cross batted shots. “He gathers runs like blackberries everywhere he goes” said CB Fry. He possessed great patience, but generally scored quickly, driving and cutting well, but particularly adept at forcing the ball off his legs. An excellent slip fielder, he also bowled off-spin with considerable skill, but was rarely used in a strong Surrey attack.

His 357* was recently challenged by some one no-one can trust, but his 132 not out at Sydney came in a remarkable match. Australia were bowled out for 144 in the first innings, with George Lohmann taking 8/58. England made 307 in reply with Abel carrying his bat and putting on 72 for the 10th wicket. England were in a strong position, but let it slip. John Lyons made a very brisk century, Alec Bannermann took anchor for 91, and Australia set England 229 to win. Abel made just 1 as England fell 72 runs short.

The second of the three big matches produced one of the finest performances in the history of Australian cricket, a performance, indeed, fully comparable to the seven runs victory at The Oval in 1882, or the great, but unsuccessful fight on the same ground in 1850.

Read the Wisden report here.

This was the first score of 132 at Lord’s, by the way. The last 132 made by a visiting player was by Jacques Kallis at Manchester in 1998. Bevan Congdon has the only 132 by a New Zealander, made against Australia in Wellington in 1974.

I did a bit on Kane on HDWLIA when he made his big double hundred at the beginning of the year. This is his 10th test hundred, his first against England, his 7th outside of New Zealand, and his 5th highest overall. His previous best against England was 91 in Wellington on our last tour in 2013.

This was the 25th hundred by a Black Cap in England. 14 have been at Lord’s, 5 at Trent Bridge, 5 at Old Trafford and one at The Oval. Martin Crowe is the only New Zealander to have made three centuries in England. One bets Kane might get close to that.

Kane Williamson’s 100 came off 148 balls and contained 12×4.