HBD Williamson: Three best overseas Test knocks
It's the birthday of a craftsman with the bat, a genius tactician on the field, a gem of a sportsperson and more importantly, one of the greats of this generation. It's the birthday of a man who gave New Zealand the limelight in the era of the big threes.
Yes, you guessed it right. Today, the cricket fraternity is celebrating the birthday of the smiling assassin, Kane Williamson.
We all know how prolific Williamson has been on home soil. On the auspicious occasion of his 32nd birthday, let's relive three top-class overseas Test knocks of the stylish batter.
139 (283) vs Pakistan, Abu Dhabi, 2018
This was the final match of the three-match series, levelled at 1-1. In reply to New Zealand's 274, the hosts posted 348 in their first innings, gaining a vital lead of 74 runs.
The Kiwis had a disastrous start to their second innings, losing four wickets for just sixty runs. The wicket was turning, and Yasir Shah was breathing fire.
Williamson's knock helped NZ seal the series
Williamson rescued his side from such a critical position by stitching a magnificent 212 runs with Henry Nicholls for the fifth wicket. Leading from the front, the Blackcaps skipper slammed a fantastic 139 with the help of thirteen gorgeous boundaries.
By virtue of Williamson's outstanding effort, the visitors set a steep target of 280 for Pakistan and later defended it to script a historic series win.
131(299) vs India, Ahmedabad, 2010
Imagine it's your debut match; you are up against the Indian spinners in their own backyard, and to add to your miseries, your team is four wickets down with 137 runs on the board in response to India's 487.
These imaginations are nightmarish for anyone of us. But when Kane Williamson stepped out to bat that day, it seemed like he was unfazed by any of these thoughts.
The chubby 20-year-old Williamson smashed his way through to a superb 131, glittered with ten boundaries. His knock had everything; class, determination, maturity and patience. His stunning knock powered the Kiwis to a formidable total of 459 in their first innings, massively helping him draw the Test against the robust Indian outfit.
77 (133) vs South Africa, Centurion 2016
As we know, South Africa hasn't been a happy hunting ground for Williamson in the purest format so far. However, this knock's impact was so huge that it is considered his one of finest knocks in overseas Tests.
In response to South Africa's first innings total of 481, the Kiwis lost wickets continuously, which left them reeling at 106 for five. The surface was assisting the seamers, and the Proteas seamers had their tails up.
Williamson propelled NZ to a decent total
However, Williamson stood like a rock and kept playing his shots all along the ground. Before being dismissed by Kagiso Rabada, the calm craftsman garnered 77 runs with the help of eight eye-catching boundaries and one six, helping his side reach 214.
Although New Zealand lost the game convincingly, Williamson's heroic effort was lauded by the fans as well as experts.