Williamson laps up limo luxury with five to spare

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 05:00 16/12/2013
Black Caps bowlers
ANDREW CORNAGA/Photosport

LONG RIDE: New Zealand bowlers, from left, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Corey Anderson, Neil Wagner and wicketkeeper BJ Watling revive the Basin Reserve victory tradition.

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Yes, that's Kane Williamson's face peeking out the door of the Black Caps' bowlers limousine.

The batsman and offspinner made the cut to ride in the white limo up the top of Mt Victoria as the traditional Basin Reserve test victory celebrations were revived after nearly six years on Friday night.

Williamson joined man of the match Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Corey Anderson, Ish Sodhi and wicketkeeper BJ Watling as they cracked the bubbly and toasted their innings and 73-run victory over West Indies inside three days.

Bowling coach Shane Bond said the wicketkeeper traditionally decides who gets the call-up, and Williamson made it by virtue of bowling five overs in the match.

"It was a photo finish. I remember back in the day [Scott] Styris wanted to get in there but he got told to bugger off. Kane laid his case down and the decision rests with the wicketkeeper, so BJ [Watling] being a Northern Districts boy, it was never in doubt."

Bond indulged in the tradition a few times himself after Basin test wins in the early 2000s. He said it was begun by Dion Nash and Simon Doull after the 1998 Boxing Day test, when Doull bowled New Zealand to victory.

"I had a couple of limo rides, driving round and round the Basin and doing toasts on Mt Victoria, it was pretty cool. It was good to see that tradition carried on. That was the first one for all the guys. That was the highlight for me, seeing the guys savour the win and get the chance to continue that tradition, it was brilliant."

None of the current New Zealand pacemen were in the side when the hosts won their last test at the Basin, against Bangladesh in January 2008.

In seven tests since, New Zealand had lost three and drawn four, until their drought broke in spectacular fashion on Friday.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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