Kane Williamson called New Zealand’s ‘greatest’ after reeling off record hundred against England

Kane Williamson is being hailed as New Zealand's greatest ever batsman after posting his 18th Test century. (AFP)
Updated 23 March 2018
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Kane Williamson called New Zealand’s ‘greatest’ after reeling off record hundred against England

AUCKLAND: Captain Kane Williamson scored a New Zealand-record 18th test century as New Zealand tightened its advantage in the first cricket Test against England on a rain-affected second day Friday.
Williamson previously shared with Martin Crowe and his current test teammate Ross Taylor the New Zealand record of 17 test centuries. Between heavy showers on Friday, Williamson added 11 runs to his overnight score of 91, reaching his century in 297 minutes, from 196 balls with 11 fours and a six.
He was finally out for 102, trapped lbw by James Anderson in the fourth over of the second new ball, but his 83-run partnership with Henry Nicholls placed New Zealand in control of its first-ever day-night test at home.
Nicholls was 49 not out, wicketkeeper B.J. Watling was 17 and New Zealand was 229-4 when heavy rain stopped play in the second session on a day in which only 23 overs were bowled and 54 runs scored. It was enough to allow New Zealand to build a lead of 171 runs and to take charge of a match in which further rain interruptions are likely.
Although the rain abated late in the evening, the umpires called off play at 9 p.m. — the time of scheduled stumps — because of a damp outfield.
Williamson demonstrated his immense talent and the great promise of his relatively young test career when he achieved his 18th century at 27 years of age and in his 64th test.
Crowe, who died of cancer in 2016 aged 53, played 77 tests and Taylor, aged 34, has played 84. Williamson was averaging 50.51 before this match and is now being hailed as New Zealand’s best-ever test batsman.
Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming tweeted “Williamson’s century an emotional milestone for us Black Caps fans but one feels just a stepping stone for our greatest.”
England was dismissed for 58 in its first innings Thursday, its sixth-lowest score in tests and lowest against New Zealand. Trent Boult took a career-best 6-32 and Tim Southee took 4-25 as New Zealand bowled out England in 20.4 overs and only 95 minutes.
Williamson’s century was the only event of note on a day soured by rain. The first shower chased players from the field only 40 minutes after the start and Williamson had already achieved his milestone.
He went from 91 to 95 with a boundary, took two, then approached the historic mark with singles, reaching it with a trademark dab to third man off Anderson.
His innings hardened New Zealand’s hold on the match which already significant when it bowled out England so cheaply on the first day.
Williamson first put on 84 for the second wicket with Tom Latham (26) and after Taylor (20) was out, combined with Nicholls in a partnership which importantly survived the late and floodlit stages of the first day when the pink ball was expected to swing.
The England bowlers were less able than Boult and Southee to move the ball in the air and the pitch, which was well-grassed at the start, offered little movement from the seam.


From near-death in Libyan desert to Saudi Arabia in 40 years: A history of the Dakar Rally

Updated 25 April 2019
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From near-death in Libyan desert to Saudi Arabia in 40 years: A history of the Dakar Rally

  • Race will start in Jeddah and make a stop in Riyadh before ending in Qiddiya
  • Take a look back at the most momentous moments

LONDON: A new and exciting chapter in the prestigious history of the Dakar Rally is ready to be written as the world’s biggest and most challenging rally confirmed it will debut in Saudi Arabia in January 2020.

1977: Inspiration
Biker Thierry Sabine gets lost in the Libyan desert while competing in the Abidjan-Nice Rally. After being rescued from the sands on the verge of death, he vows to share the scale and magic of the desert with the whole world.

1978: A dream come true
On 26 December 1978, a field of 170 adventurers starts its 10,000-kilometer quest through Algeria, Niger, Mali, the Upper Volta, and Senegal. A total of 74 vehicles make it to the finish on Place de l’Indépendance in Dakar, with Cyril Neveu at the helm.

1983: Ickx on all fronts
Celebrities and the best drivers and riders in the world heed the call of the Dakar. The combination is a successful one, with the six-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Jacky Ickx and comedian Claude Brasseur taking the spoils in the fourth edition.

1986: Tragedy strikes
Thierry Sabine and Daniel Balavoine die in a helicopter crash alongside pilot François-Xavier Bagnoud, journalist Nathalie Odent and radio technician Jean-Paul Lefur. Gilbert Sabine, the father of the creator of the race, takes over as director.

1992: Africa from north to south
The Dakar takes a break from the capital of Senegal to pit the competitors against the challenge of a lifetime. The drivers and riders have to tackle a route of almost 12,500 kilometers through 11 countries to cross Africa from one side to the other and reach Cape Town in South Africa. Stéphane Peterhansel (motorbikes) and Hubert Auriol (cars) stand atop the podium at the end of the Odyssey.

1998: Peterhansel rolls a six
The biker with a blue bandana emerges victorious from a clash of titans with Orioli and Arcarons to become the undisputed master of the category in the 1990s. His sixth win catapults him past Cyril Neveu as the event record holder. “Peter” has since added seven car victories to his tally!

2000: At the foot of the pyramids
The Dakar marks the turn of the century next to one of the seven wonders of the world: the Great Pyramid of Giza. Reigning champions Richard Sainct (motorbikes) and Jean-Louis Schlesser (cars) both manage to defend their titles against this prestigious backdrop.

2001: Miss Dakar
No one suspects that this will be the last Paris–Dakar. In contrast, everyone sees Jutta Kleinschmidt, who had made her Dakar debut in 1988 on a motorbike, become the first woman to win the rally, this time racing at the wheel of a Mitsubishi 4×4. She remains the only female winner of the event to date.

2009: Rising from the ashes in Buenos Aires
The Dakar picks itself up and crosses the Atlantic to rise from the ashes. A new era dawns with 4 million spectators turning out in force to cheer on the drivers and riders in the majestic landscapes of Argentina and Chile.

2012: Pacific Challenge
After three years with a route starting and ending in Buenos Aires, the organizers break the mold with a finish on the Pacific coast of Lima, Peru.

2014: Dizzying heights
Bolivia becomes the 28th country to host the Dakar. The Altiplano and Salar de Uyuni introduce a new test for the competitors: extreme altitude, which takes a toll on both their bodies and their machines.

2020: Chapter 3
In the wake of its first foray into Paraguay in 2017, the Dakar adds the 30th country to its list. In Saudi Arabia, the largest country on the Arabian Peninsula, the competitors will face challenges such as the “Empty Quarter,” a pristine expanse that has never been explored fully before.