Kane Williamson, the New Zealand batsman, has credited positive batting from the middle order for the 307-run lead that his side amassed against West Indies in Barbados. Williamson was the common factor in the second, fourth, fifth and sixth-wicket stands that all yielded more than fifty runs and praised the batsmen for the quick pace at which the runs were scored.
"All those blokes came out playing really positively and we were able to get a good rhythm in our partnerships," Williamson said. "It was an important thing and we kept scoring in each of those partnerships. They were all key contributions in the second innings so far."
Williamson brought up his seventh Test century and joined Martin Crowe on the list of New Zealand batsmen with most hundreds by the age of 24. His unbeaten 161 is his best in Test cricket and has extended a run of form over the previous year that has seen him score nearly 1000 runs in his last nine Tests at an average of 66.13. Asked if his Test career had moved into another phase with the innings, Williamson said he was more focused on adapting to conditions and improving his game.
"I don't look at that at all. I am just trying to improve my game all the time and adapt to what's in front of me," Williamson said. "I suppose you learn more and more as you play. I have played a lot recently and that helps. I just want to stay calm and relaxed at the crease and try and score as many runs as I can, as often as I can. It's always nice to get a big score. You'd like to do that but it doesn't always happen. That's what I'd like to do more often. That's what I'll keep practising to try and do. Cricket's a funny game and you have your failures and successes."
Williamson's knock drew praise from Kemar Roach, the leading wicket-taker of the series so far. "He obviously is their best batsman in the team," Roach said. "He has been in good form and he is definitely hard to bowl at. Getting his wicket is always going to be a an even better feeling, so hopefully tomorrow we come out there fresh and try to knock them over."
Roach became the 19th West Indies bowler to take 100 Test wickets with four strikes in each innings on his home ground, and was glad to have done so well in his comeback series since undergoing shoulder surgery. "I am proud of the way I came back after my surgery. I put some hard work in and it is showing. Fifteen wickets in the series so far is pretty good for me. It has been tough. The wicket is too flat. Pretty hard to bowl on. But once you hit your areas, hopefully the batsman makes a mistake so you get some wickets.
"(Reaching 100 wickets is) definitely a big thing for me. That was my goal, to get there in 20 (Tests), but 26 is as good, so I am glad to achieve that. Obviously you want to perform at home for sure. To be able to do that in front of fans at home is great and I am grateful for that."