Black Caps must toil for wickets, says Williamson

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 10:58 27/11/2012
Kane Williamson
Photosport
RETURN TO FORM: Kane Williamson celebrates after reaching his hundred on the second day of the second test against Sri Lanka in Colombo.

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Kane Williamson says New Zealand will have to toil patiently with the ball if they're to take another 17 Sri Lanka wickets and square the two-test cricket series in Colombo.

Williamson is well qualified to comment on the P Sara Oval pitch, given he spent seven hours batting on it during the past two days.

And while New Zealand have made an excellent start defending 412 - Sri Lanka are 43-3 heading into the third day with the big three of Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene all back in the hut - the century-maker said the docile pitch is a very good one for batting.

''I think we're in a good position but in saying that it's a very good track and you've got to bowl this team out twice to get a victory,'' said Williamson, who scored his third test century and registered 1000 test runs in his 18th test before being dismissed for 135 yesterday.

''They've got some seriously good cricketers and that's not going to be an easy feat so we're not getting ahead of ourselves.''

Getting three ''extremely good quality players'' such as Dilshan, Sangakkara and Jayawardene for a combined total of just nine runs was a ''fantastic start'', but ''we know we've got to turn up and play good sessions each time we go out there''.

''The bowlers have been bowling really well throughout this series so hopefully they can continue that (today).''

The 22-year-old combined with captain Ross Taylor (142) to put on 262 runs for the third wicket, a New Zealand record for any wicket in the sub-continent and the sixth highest New Zealand partnership of alltime.

Daniel Flynn (53) aside, the rest of the lineup offered little and the Kiwis lost their last eight wickets for 136 runs, though a 400-plus score is a big step in the right direction and the three wickets late in the day has made it look even better.

''It was a good day all around really, and finishing off with the wickets was nice too, but obviously that partnership with Ross who played superbly was key to getting that total,'' said Williamson, who also had praise for Flynn's fighting knock.

Williamson ended a dry spell spanning five tests and said batting coach Bob Carter and senior batsmen such as Brendon McCullum had played a key part in his return to runscoring.

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''It's been tough not having some time in the middle and batting in the one-dayers, where circumstances haven't allowed (time at the crease), so you weren't quite sure whether hitting the ball or not, but I've been working really hard in the last week or so and it was nice to put an innings together.''

- Fairfax Media

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