Williamson century gives NZ the edge

Kane Williamson’s century and a typically dashing innings from skipper Brendon McCullum has helped give New Zealand a first-innings lead on the third day of the first Test against England at Lord’s.

New Zealand were 4-407 when rain led to an early lunch minutes before the scheduled interval, a lead of 18 runs after England made 389 in their first innings.

Williamson was 112 not out, having shared stands of 189 with Ross Taylor (62) and 66 with McCullum (42).

New Zealand resumed on 303 for two, with Williamson 92 not out and Taylor unbeaten on 47.

Batting with impressive nerve for a 24-year-old, Williamson’s century came in just over three hours off 148 balls including 12 fours.

It was the talented Williamson’s 10th hundred in 40 Tests – an impressive strike-rate – and the 14th by a New Zealand batsman in a Test at Lord’s.

But batting in overcast conditions became significantly more challenging once England took the new ball.

The extra bounce on offer proved Taylor’s undoing when he fended at a rising ball from Stuart Broad and was brilliantly caught, one-handed down the leg side at full stretch, by diving wicket-keeper Jos Buttler.

McCullum, however, struck his first ball, from Broad, through cover-point for four.

Much praised for his dynamism during New Zealand’s run to the World Cup final, McCullum’s form continued until he became Mark Wood’s first Test wicket after an outside-edge off an attempted pull flew to Root at third man.

McCullum’s quickfire innings saw him face just 38 balls, including six fours and a six.

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